Check out the new paint job! Extreme thanks to a donor couple who shall remain nameless, and way to go to B Classic Painting and Remodeling of Sweet Home, for their excellent work and counsel. It looks amazing. And let’s not forget Brad Morse Carpentry, the master craftsman who backs down from no woodworking challenge.
Next on the list: Electrical, Lighting, Plumbing, and interior finish work.
Named for the family that started our farm back in the 1800’s, the matriarch of which was the school’s first teacher, the Reed School is a one-room schoolhouse that had fallen into disrepair and neglect thanks to consolidation, modernization, and a lot of other inevitable “-ation’s.” In any case, it pained us to neighbor up to such a neat old building whose history intertwined with our own, only to witness its slide into oblivion. So, we asked and the district agreed to use funds allocated for the school’s demolition instead for its relocation, onto our farm, just across the road.
We are restoring the Reed School and will incorporate it into our farm camp for children, a summer day camp providing safe and fun activities that teach kids about the wonders and responsibilities associated with life on the farm. The Reed School will provide a lovely classroom setting for participants, probably not unlike that experienced by many of the kids’ grandparents. Both the Reed School and the farm camp are part of a non-profit organization called Farm Works, Inc. The building will also be made available to local groups and organizations and people wishing to tour the facility.
The school now sits on a new foundation, facing North, just off of the original Berlin Road (covered with grass now, on the south side of the current county road. Necessary structural and flooring repairs (remarkably few, given years of neglect) have been made, the porches have been restored to better than original condition, and it has a new roof. The front windows have been repaired, and sidewalks and access ramp have been poured.
We were very lucky to find a master carpenter in Brad Morse, who was recommended by building mover Steve Hoskins, also a fine contractor to work with. Brad has a heart of pure gold and would make the original builder proud, if not a bit envious of his skill. In June 2012 the new flag pole Brad made, replicating the original, went up and over the door. It’s a beauty. Thanks to Dave Robinson of City and Suburban Electric for loaning his bucket truck to help with the flag pole installation and painting.
We are actively fundraising for Farm Works, Inc., and interested partners are welcome to contact us to learn about opportunities to support our this resource for local kids and families. We thank family, friends, neighbors, and community organizations who have supported this dream in various ways, and we appreciate the confidence in our vision. Stay tuned for further updates.
Springbank Farm was owned by the John Reed family in the late 1800’s and up until Paul and Phyllis O’Driscoll purchased the farm in 1973. Mrs. Anna Bond Reed was the Reed School’s first teacher. Built in 1924, the school is a fine example of turn-of-the-century craftsmanship, featuring a bell tower, a handmade tapered wooden flag pole, and a classic one-room design. Last used as a music classroom for elementary students of Hamilton Creek School, the school sat unused by the District for several years. As children, back in the 1970’s, Brian O’Driscoll and siblings Kathryn and Sean had music and square dancing lessons in the Reed School under the instruction of Mrs. Judy Schrader, who ruled first grade with tough love and verve for many years. We could use her today.