Abandoned Places – The Island School House In Sevierville, Tennessee
The Abandoned School House Still Calls You To Come Inside
How I found the abandoned school house… About a year and a half ago when my amazing baby sister finally moved back to Tennessee I couldn’t have been happier. The trips we had been taking to see her in Myrtle Beach were always wonderful but also always way too short and far too long in between. Having her less than two hours away has been a gift we have all been grateful for.
So, as if that wasn’t enough. She just so happened to move to Sevierville which most people know of as the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. A place we all adore. And while the shopping is grand, the food mouthwatering, and the entertainment literally around every bend, when I think of Sevierville, I love it for reasons other than the food and attractions. This part of the world is absolutely basking in that warm kind of old dusty history that makes for the best stories. And the best people.
The first time I went to see my sister at her new house I almost drove off the road when I saw The Island School House sitting so terribly and beautifully still in a field of tall grass. All alone. Behind it, the September day was falling quickly into night. The beady grass was bending to the will of the wind and seemed to catch the rays only to reflect the sweet peach-colored beams back towards the sky as it swayed so gently.
“What?” I heard myself whisper, as I managed to stay on the tar just barely.
I felt like I had driven onto the scene of some romantic tale that belonged more between the well-loved covers of an old and almost forgotten book. Even more, just next to the old bones of what I originally mistook for a church, a tall and naked tree was reaching its bony fingers as if trying to ring the rusty bell above the doors. I could practically hear it. I fell in some form of love just then I hadn’t known before.
But I had to keep driving. Over the next few years everytime I would go to see Allison I would have to slow down to take in the charm of the waiting schoolhouse, even when those behind me honked and urged me on. But there was nowhere reasonable to pull over and admire it. And when my brother-in-law, unable to resist the temptation of the schoolhouse, had pulled to the side of the road, the law was quick to show up and tell him he needed to move on. He did.
But guys, after a whole year of waiting I finally got my chance. It wasn’t an opportunity to catch it for you in the state I had first seen it in, all dripping with peach colored sunset and surrounded by dancing grains. But still, with only one day left in 2018, and at last a chance to be dropped off at the gate, I took it!
The property is surrounded by barbed wire and it took every last ounce of my willpower not to jump it and peer through its windows to see what traces of its story must lie within. I have heard that the chalkboards still cling to the walls and remnants of cubbies and desks are scattered about. Oh, how I would love to see for myself. And to show you. But instead, I will just share its timeless bones and its creaking boards, and its dust and charm and glory. It’s frame, still standing after all these years, still calling to those who recognize the beauty of the castaway standing before them, so still.
Few Fun Facts About The Abandoned School House – The Island School House
In 1895, this 2-acre tract was sold for $34.00 to build a school for local children. It stood until 1917 when a strong storm blew the building over. The following year, this schoolhouse was erected in its place for $558.92. The building remained in operation until 1949, when the students were consolidated into the new Boyd’s Creek School.
[Sevier County, TN c. 1918]
The Old Island Abandoned School In December 2018 – 100 Years Old
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