Gramp’s Old School

I Bought This, Now What??!!
I am now the proud and slightly dazed owner of a tiny lot complete with a tiny one room school house built in 1850. How did this happen? Well…. I’m not quite sure….it all started one evening as a casual conversation with my parents:

Me: “Did you know the school house down the road is for sale?”

Mom: “What school house?”
(fast forward to after I explain it’s less than a quarter of a mile from her house)

Me “We should buy it! We could restore it and make it a vacation rental a la Airbnb!” (fast forward to after I explain what Airbnb is)

Mom: “No!”

Dad: “Did you know that your grandfather attended that school when he was a boy? I’ve always wanted to see the inside of it.”

That was back in March, which was a hectic time for my family. We were preparing for my husband, Ben to have major surgery to remove a large benign brain tumor. We were also first time parents to a then 15-month old baby, Philip. We had spent the last 9 years in North Carolina and just moved back to our family home in Upstate New York. Our dog developed major back problems and needed to be carried everywhere. So of course it was the best time to embark on a real estate investment!

The end of summer loomed, Ben was doing much better and came through the surgery with flying colors and our 10-year-old miniature dachshund made a miraculous recovery. So after much back and forth, research, and a few site visits we decided we’re in love. I made an offer through our realtor, Abbey, so did someone else, they accepted our offer and today we closed! Hurray?!?!

school house   Gramp’s Old School

The Stats
860 Square Feet
.21 Acres
1850 Original structure built
??? Addition built
Slate Roof
Brick Exterior
No Well or Septic
Condition: Extreme Disrepair

School Interior     Interior of School House

This is truly a family affair, everyone wants to help! Some may end up being more helpful than others….

IMG_2263   The Sibs: Jason, Me, Luke, Sarah, and Jesse

The heart and soul of the project!!




clockwise from top left: Great Grandpa Tefft (the original Gramp and school house student), husband Ben and toddler Philip, Gramp and Em,

Now What?!
Coming up in week one: YARD WORK, roof patch, floor patch, initial assessment of interior and exterior, weatherizing, and did I mention YARD WORK?



16 thoughts on “Gramp’s Old School

  1. Yup, absolutely crazy wonderful! What a terrific find and challenge and opportunity!
    I look forward to following your progress.
    One tiny piece of advice: rip everything out down to studs, beams, joists. (unless the floor is somehow miraculously solid and level).
    Best wishes!!!!


    1. Great to hear from you! We’re beyond excited about this project! p.s. the floor has a pretty big hole it in!


  2. Congratulations & welcome to the neighborhood! I am Abbey’s Mom & live about 2 minutes from you. We’re so happy someone (you) with exuberance & a dream purchased it & are looking forward to your updates. It’s all so exciting! 🙂


    1. Thanks for the support! We are truly on a journey with the school house!


  3. Best of Luck , I look forward to watching your
    progress . As the former owner I would like
    to request a complete set of pictures when
    completed .
    Since I won’t be passing the school along
    to my grandkids I’d like to pass along the
    pictures , PLEASE .
    Thanks very much , Dave Cary


    1. My family is so thankful for this opportunity. We’ll make sure you have pics when we finish. I’ll continue to post photos on the blog as we go along as well!


  4. Claire & Jim Houston October 25, 2017 — 1:59 am

    Congratulations, Jill and family! I was always so sad to watch the deterioration of that beautiful building. I am so glad that you love it and are taking on this tremendous task! I knew your dad’s family as a kid when they were on Hardscrabble, and now we live right down the road from the schoolhouse. Best of luck to you!
    Claire Houston


    1. Hi Claire! So happy to reconnect. We’re uncovering a bit more of the school house each time we’re over there. Thanks for the support! p.s. my parents have one of your son’s prints of the school house hanging in their house, they love it!


  5. So glad to see someone has brought the old schoolhouse. Ron’s father and Aunt Janet went to school there he told me. Welcome to the neighborhood and best of luck.


  6. I am so excited for you all and it makes my heart full to see you named it after your Gramps. He would be so very proud and tikled pink. I know he is watching over all of us and will guide you threw your new adventures !


    1. Hi Sandy, We’re so excited too! Stop by sometime when you see us out there working! We will need to come check out your store now as well!


    2. I will definitely will stop by! I m sure I have all your flooring needs here at my store. Also if you are going to do any tiling on walls I have cool tiles for that also!


  7. Claire & Jim Houston November 29, 2017 — 4:48 am

    I love the entry about Gramps! He was a very nice man. We used to be babysat by Lidy Whitaker at the beginning of Hardscrabble, and I remember walking up to the Tefft home many times to play with all of the Tefft children.Great memories!


    1. Hi Claire! I love to hear these stories! Maybe we can catch up sometime? Is Jacob planning any more pop-ups during the holiday?


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