Sunday, July 31, 2016

Now and Then: Prairie Ridge School Near Ely, Iowa

Between Cedar Rapids and Ely, Iowa fields of corn and soybeans stretch for miles. At a particular farm property on Spanish Road the remains of Prairie Ridge School, a one room schoolhouse still stands. The building was relocated on the farm and may have been originally located just yards from its present location. The top photo is courtesy of the website which I found via a detail rich schoolhouse website.

Compare this photo taken today to the 1910 photo above. Visible in both are the boys and girls separate entrances, the lattice work, the double windows and much of the original shape. The school bell tower has collapsed. Note the newer foundation on limestone.

A view inside the school room looking towards the boys and girls entrance. The floor is covered in debris and the walls are stripped of anything that would indicate that this was a school room.

A view to the left of the previous photo.

A view of the left hand entrance lattice work. I don't know the style of the school house in architectural terms but its' simple design includes a few accents like these vertical bars.

Another view of that same entrance. I don't know if that saw-like metal is associated with the school or part of the general out buildings in the immediate area.

How many times was this door opened and closed during the school's active years? This hardware is located on the left hand side entrance.

A view looking through four window frames on one side of the building to reveal the other set of four windows. These frames form the word, "HI."

The final photo is a look from the back of the building from the 1910 photo. The windows on the right are the one's featured in the previous photo. Looks like at one point a hanging door was added (not there anymore) on a roller hinge as well as a garage door. New home owners are moving into the farmhouse property. Perhaps they will have some restoration plans for the 100 year old plus Prairie Ridge School.


  1. Great shots!!! We never go on the property unless there is someone right there and then we ask; we never go knocking, etc.

    I've linked from my article back to here!

  2. I enjoyed each of these interesting photos, but for some reason my favorite is the closeup of the handle. Beautiful.

  3. Here is more on this school

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