The Winneshiek County Historic Preservation Commission will host a country school presentation Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. in the basement of the Decorah Public Library.
The meeting will cover the first phase of their research study and documentation of Winneshiek County country schools.
The first phase of the GIS-based (geographic information systems) inventory of the county's schools has inventoried more than 180 locations, including 30 previously unrecognized country school locations. Digital images of these sites and the GPS coordinates for them have been recorded by researcher Shay Gooder who will present information on his findings at the Tuesday meeting. Each school site will be noted on an aerial map and the project is projected to be available for online viewing on the Winneshiek County Historic Preservation link of the Winneshiek County website in the near future. Derek Lee of Bear Creek Archeology conceived and developed the research strategy.
Planned future phases of the project include potential National Register nominations of the Highlandville School and the Martin Bouska log schoolhouse in Spillville by the Commission in cooperation with Bear Creek Archeology. Gathering oral histories of local country school teachers and students, and intensive architectural survey of at least 16 Winneshiek County schoolhouses and development of their historic context is also planned. Information on these next phases will also be shared by the Commission at the presentation.