This abandoned school has been on my to-do list for quite a while, and I finally made it there in 2020! I’d been at another school in the area that left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. So I decided to drive up to Sawyer to see if this one would meet my expectations, and boy did it.
It’s in terrible shape inside, and the exterior seems to be about ready to crumble in a few spots. I wish I’d taken the time to visit a few years ago because a lot of the severe damage seems to be more recent. The center section at the rear of the building might not make it through a snowy and icy winter. The other three walls seem to be in pretty good condition.
This school opened in 1922 and closed just 38 years later. I couldn’t find any info about how long the building has been empty — has it been vacant since the 1960s? That could account for the horrible condition. Judging by the graffiti and beer bottles strewn around behind the building, it seems to have been a party spot. That’s hard on a vacant building, too. The preservationist in me can’t help but see the wasted potential and wonder how it got this bad. Sigh.
The floors felt pretty bouncy, so I didn’t venture too much past the front entrance. Honestly, I kept telling myself how silly it was for me not to come here sooner. I would have loved to walk through the building and picture what it was like for students to come here every day. I guess even though this school has been closed for decades, I learned a lesson here. Don’t procrastinate!
It’s too bad that the community didn’t use it longer, but post-war America always wanted to look forward, not back. Many buildings suffered a fate worse than demolition — they were abandoned, forgotten, and left to rot.