Back to School? These 7 Converted Schoolhouses Are at the Top of the Class

The summer party is (almost) over—another slog through the school year is soon to begin. For students, it’s an anxiety-producing time. For parents, it’s a time of celebration! But for some homeowners, back-to-school day happens each and every day.

Folks who reside in converted schoolhouses can relish the trappings and history of a place of learning without all the pesky teachers, tests, or homework. Many of the converted schoolhouses up for sale right now blend the best aspects of the property’s past with today’s modern conveniences.

If you’d like to experience life in a former schoolhouse, we’ve found seven converted homes on the market ready for your approval. We think all are deserving of A’s—and we don’t grade on a curve.

Check ’em out before some teacher’s pet snaps them up…

14095 Proctor Valley Rd, Jamul, CA

Price: $725,000
Passing grade: This place is worthy of advanced placement. The Old Jamul Schoolhouse was built in 1890, but it’s no dusty old textbook. Modern updates sit side by side with the schoolhouse’s original hardwood floors. There’s even a nod to the home’s past with a chalkboard mounted over the fireplace. Sweet! (Erasers not included.)

Jamul, CA

735 King Pen Rd, Kirkwood, PA

Price: $289,900
Passing grade: Charming and compact, the White Rock schoolhouse sits on a 3-acre parcel. Built in 1890, the adorable brick building will require a buyer to earn extra credit by updating the kitchen, carpets, and linoleum floors.

Kirkwood, PA

333 Summer St, East Bridgewater, MA

Price: $475,000
Passing grade: The Beaver Schoolhouse dates to 1884, and many of its original elements have been well-preserved. Gleaming hardwood floors, stained-glass windows, and cathedral ceilings are just a few of the holdovers from this home’s school days.

East Bridgewater, MA

99 Salisbury Turnpike, Rhinebeck, NY

Price: $595,000
Passing grade: Located a couple of hours north of NYC, this weekend getaway has been fully updated inside while maintaining its quaint country charm on the outside.

Rhinebeck, NY

7801 Route 120, Woodstock, IL

Price: $198,000
Passing grade: Not quite a little, red schoolhouse, this former academic institution has more of a magenta hue. Built in 1900, the one-room Ostend Country Schoolhouse has since been converted into a lovely three-bedroom home.

Woodstock, IL

305 Route 199, Red Hook, NY

Price: $323,000
Passing grade: This two-bedroom home is a perfect antidote to city life. The Red Hook schoolhouse sits right alongside Saw Kill Creek, making it an ideal spot to kick back on the stone patio and listen to the sounds of the water rushing by. Before diving in the creek’s swimming hole, let your mind drift back to 1840—when the school was built.

Red Hook, NY

Undisclosed address, Fairhaven, MA

Price: $269,000
Passing grade: This tiny conversion takes its cues from Scandinavian style. The owner used his architectural background to convert the one-room schoolhouse from 1840 into a “unique and functional space.” We’re ready to present him with an apple for his gorgeous work!

Fairhaven, MA


Posted by Erik Gunther on

Locked Up: Old Kentucky Home Comes With 2 Vaults and an Outlaw History

History buffs will surely be taken with this property which once housed a bank robbed by the notorious James Gang, one of America’s most famous post-Civil War outlaws.

Built in 1857 and known as the Southern Bank of Kentucky Building, this historic structure was converted to residential use in the early 1980s. It features hardwood floors, 12 fireplaces, two mahogany staircases, and 15-foot ceilings restored to their 19th-century grandeur.

The 7,321-square-foot building on three quarters of an acre is zoned for residential or commercial use. It sits in a historic district in Russellville, KY, only 45 minutes from country music capital Nashville.

Priced at $825,000, it includes six bedrooms as well as a renovated kitchen with exposed brick wall. Covered porches recall a simpler time when sitting on a porch to chat with neighbors was a way of life.

However, our curiosity was piqued by what remains under lock and key. Inside, the bank’s two vaults remain and are still operable should you have some priceless treasures to keep safe.

The main vault, which has three chambers and four doors, sheltered $2 million in gold at the time of the James Gang robbery—gold the gang was unable to pilfer.

However, the bank wasn’t left unscathed on March 28, 1868, when the James Gang (Jesse James himself was elsewhere recovering from a gunshot wound) rode up. Two bullet holes remain from that day when bank president Nimrod Long refused to cash a questionable bond the gang brought in and was shot, according to listing agent Becky Reinhold.

The gang, which that day likely included James’ brother, Frank, made off with more than $9,000, a true haul for its time. The robbery was only the third daylight bank heist in U.S. history and the first for the gang, which became known as the James-Younger Gang after the robbery because of the presence of the infamous Younger brothers.

The cash the gang did make off with was housed in the building’s second vault—located in what was then the president’s office. It was known as the day vault because it remained open during the day while the bank did business.

The gang wasn’t the first to try to steal the gold in the bank’s main vault. The Confederate government of Kentucky (which desired to secede) wanted the bank to loan it the gold during the Civil War. The bank’s board refused and subsequently hid the gold in an upstairs residence then used by the bank president.

Whether you choose to keep the vaults as curios or use them to hide valuables is up to you. Just don’t lock yourself in.

Posted by John N. Frank in