Thursday, October 20, 2011

Old Ironsides Baptist Church Cemetery

In keeping with my old and/or abandoned cemetery theme this month, here's another from Kirby, PA. This one was spotted by my father and suggested to me. A very nice find. 

This cemetery seems to have been a small plot located on the hillside of Kirby, not too far from 19. It appears almost entirely abandoned, but yet someone attempts to keep it slightly navigable by clearing main paths. Tombstones have fallen over and are buried under foot high grass and brambles have overtaken many of the graves. Most graves have small gravestones, a few have slightly more intricate designs, and at the top of the hill stands a massively tall monument with a few graves and the remains of a fence.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

School's Out...Forever. The end of the Dry Tavern Elementary School.

I figure it is fairly common to visit your old school.     Maybe your kids go there.  Maybe you hit a reunion every few years.  Maybe you teach there. Most schools have seen remodels at least a few times since your days of roaming the halls.  Maybe the school was re-purposed and its an apartment building, community center or a church.  Maybe your school is long gone, replaced by a modern version wired with the latest tech. 
 Not my school.   

My school is facing her final days.  The years have been cruel to the school (sorry...couldn't resist). Dry Tavern Elementary School was built in 1930 and used as part of the Jefferson-Morgan school district until 1979.  The kids from Rices Landing and Dry Tavern areas went there first through sixth grade.  Except the last few years when the sixth graders were bussed to the recently demolished Pitt Gas school, (I still don't know why they did that). Today, Evan and I stopped back and got a rare opportunity to check out the school one last time...from the classrooms we had not seen in 30+ years.  In the process of demolition, theres not much left to see,but the memories flooded back as I poked my head in the classrooms. 

 Imagine someone taking a place you spent a large portion of your childhood and locking the door.  Then you get a the same,virtually untouched room 32 years later.  No WI-FI. The schools were Lippencott, which is now a church.  Central School,which was in Jefferson where the football Field is.  Pitt Gas was a rest home before meeting the iron blade and I'm still fuzzy on Mather.  I thought there was a school there, but it wasn't the red brick type the others were.Or did the Mather kids go to Central? Dry Tavern (I believe) was the only one of the schools that had a gym.  I remember hearing a rumor that there was a swimming pool beneath the floor that was never used.  I find it difficult to believe that made the 1930 budget! The gym was used for auctions in the 90's and the first grade room was briefly a video store.Other than storage, the other rooms were left untouched.  Auctions were held long ago and the desks and other items were sold off.  I believe some of the projectors now reside in my grandfather's house.  You remember filmstrips, right?

I'm a video!  Play me!

The fellows working at the school were kind of tentative on letting us in,understandably so,as the place is very dangerous, (So PLEASE...don't go up there!) After explaining our purpose,they were cool enough to escort us through for a final glance.The roof is collapsing and daylight is visible in many spots.  It was sort of sad.  But soon our attention focused on the remaining items that triggered the memories of the past.Days of Six Million Dollar Man lunch boxes, recess on the monkey bars and all of life's little dramas.  Days when bad behavior got you a crack on the ass ,not a trip to the magistrate.  But i digress... 
The chalk boards are still there (may be for sale,stop by and ask).  There was still writing on the corners of the board in the fourth grade room.  Back when you had to erase the board,sometimes you missed a spot.Pieces left over from a 30 year old lesson.  Wonder who wrote it? I could go on all day re-living stories from this school but I'll let the pictures and video do the talking.  The school will be gone soon...enjoy the memories and please comment with yours.

CLICK ME to see the pile of rubble that used to be this school....taken a few days after these blogs shots...