Monday, June 22, 2009
The Last Schoolhouse
This is the last active schoolhouse in this area. It closed about six years ago. For the last couple of years there were two students. Most of the time they came to school on horseback.
There are no more schools like this. Now kids (if there are any kids) drive or are driven into the nearest consolidated school. In the winter they usually board in town. Depending on circumstance, they might stay in town for the whole school year, coming home only on holidays.
Just another example of this region as a "dying culture." There just aren't enough families to make for a real community any more. The local community center, plumb-dab in the middle of the prairie and miles from anything, is pretty much boarded up and there hasn't been a dance, or a wedding, or a fist-fight there for years.
The future is clear: ranchers will get older with the kids already off to the big city. They'll finally sell out to the big boys, and the population will decrease some more. It's inevitable. It's already happening and has been for a while now.
It was damn good while it lasted.