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    Heritage Area School Houses

    JCHS Coralville School HouseThe Heritage Area is home to some of the finest country schools in Iowa. Many have been expanding their programming and interpretation. We would like to highlight just a few examples of what the Heritage Area partners are doing.

    Johnson County Historical Society manages the 1876 Coralville Schoolhouse Museum in Coralville.  This two-story brick schoolhouse was built in 1876 and operated until 1951.  Today, the school’s downstairs classroom interprets what school in Iowa was like in the 1870s and the upstairs classroom interprets the one-room school and life in the 1940s.  It is one of only three two-room Iowa schoolhouses listed on the National Register of Historic Places.water activity UNI

    UNI Museums have recently added new interpretation to the Marshall Center School, located on UNI’s campus in Cedar Falls.  In 2005, they received a grant from SSNHA to complete a new outdoor interpretive sign explaining the important role some 12,000 small rural schools played in building Iowa’s nationally recognized education system. Called Country Schools: Community Crossroads, it tells of another important role these rural school buildings played.  Often built at crossroads, the schools became natural gathering places for spring picnics, temporary church services, box socials, voting, Farm Bureau meetings and many other social activities.
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    Additionally, Bennington #4 School in rural Waterloo recently completed installation of a new low-profile interpretive sign telling the story of the role of the country school in American agriculture.  Bennington continues to carry on their story through the selfless help of many volunteer workers, carrying on the tradition of helping your neighbor that these “community centers” once created.

    To learn more about these schools visit

    Topics: Spotlight Site

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