This building was still standing, albeit barely, and in very poor shape, when I was there in December 2011. The original post can be seen at the link to the Elbert School. This is the school my mother attended in Texas from 3rd grade until she went to high school. It was closed in 1956 when Elbert consolidated with Throckmorton schools. Prior to that, she walked across the pasture, with her father accompanying her and picking her up on horseback if it was bad weather, to a small rock school for the rural students–the term rural being relative, since the town of Elbert a few miles away was still rural–very rural. Is there a word for more rural than rural? In Alaska, they call it the bush, or remote.
My assumption is the piles of dirt and equipment surrounding the building in 2011 meant it was about to be demolished. In August, 2014, this is what remains–a “memorial” of sorts. There was a brief effort by some of the alumni of the school, or at least those who still lived in the area and had connections with the building, to address its rapidly deteriorating status about the time I took the photographs in 2011, but clearly, that was not a successful outcome. In a community with 51 residents, I suppose they asked pragmatically what they would do with the building if it was saved, and where would the money come from for renovation and upkeep.
One of these days, when I get a “round tuit” I will go through all my abandoned school building photographs and scan them into digital files and create a series of my favorites from Texas. Back in my younger days, I would boldly go into the buildings for photographs, but these days, I am considerably more restrained. Those old stages, some with velvet stage curtains still hanging, should be memorialized at least in some way, as I am sure they are now long gone. I always wanted to jump up on them and tap dance, or sing, or recite a few lines from one of my favorite plays…and sometimes, I did.