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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lily of the Valley hosts open house

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back to basics - Recently a group of third graders from River Valley School district spent a day at the Cherokee Lily of the Valley Number 5 one-room schoolhouse. Teachers for that day were Karen Thompsen, left and Barb Pruett, right. The school is run by Cherokee County Retired School Personnel, and kids and adults can see what it was like to attend school for earlier generations of students. To see more photo of Lily of the Valley, see the "Lily of the Valley" Photo Gallery. Photo by Mike Leckband
The Cherokee County Retired School Personnel (CCRSP) recently hosted an open house at the Lily of the Valley School house on Sunday, Oct. 11.

Over 80 people come and toured the school from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

The school is located on the campus of Northwest AEA on the Iowa Hwy. 3 bypass on the Northeast side of Cherokee.

This occasion marks the completion of another summer of hard work by many volunteers. Earlier this year the CCRSP asked for volunteer to help with several projects that were completed during the summer. The goal of the CCRSP was to preserve the one-room schoolhouse and showcasing Iowa's rich educational heritage.

This year, with help from the Cherokee County Legacy Foundation, the school replaced the doors and added baseboard heaters to the school to extend their season. Plus the school replaced some floorboard that was rotted to make the school safer for all who attend.

In the past the school received a grant for paint from the Keep Iowa Beautiful Foundation in which 35 gallons of paint were purchased. The grant however did not cover the cost of the actual painting.

That when the volunteers stepped up. The school was cleaned from top to bottom in preparation for painting the inside. The Mill Creek Valley 4-H group from Larrabee painted the outhouse and also helped move things out and back in during the painting. Dick Kelly of Larrabee also helped with repairing the siding and shingling the outhouse

Dick Point and Neal Phipps painted the outside of the school.

Kyle Pingrey and Phil Kindwall of the Cherokee Masonic Temple stained the deck outside of the school.

All their hard work started to pay off. Since that time many groups and school children from around Cherokee County Area have attended the school and learned what it was like for earlier generations.

The school was originally from Woodbury County and came to Cherokee by way of Correctionville's Copeland Park, where floods threatened it. The Bell in the bell tower is from a Cherokee County School.

The building is estimated to be have been built between 1890 and 1902. It was brought to Cherokee by the efforts of Bruce Hopkins of the AEA. Plus, many members of the community took part in the school restoration.

More than a museum, the Lily of the Valley School House is living history for all to enjoy, right here in Cherokee.

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