What’s Old, What’s New? Part 1

So What’s New?
Wow! It’s been six months since I’ve written a blog! A lot has changed in six months for sure! Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to. Gramp put in some long hours on finish work in January and we received our certificate of occupancy at the end of February! We were so excited to open as a vacation rental on Airbnb! It turns out the world had other plans (Covid-19). So….after booking every weekend in March (we were thrilled) we cancelled the last two bookings and had to sit tight. Gramp and I still visited the schoolhouse and we even hosted a small Easter brunch there with just immediate family. At the end of May we were able to start taking reservation again! IMG_20200411_123502Gramp accidentally gave himself bunny ears at brunch!

Open House…Not So Much
When we finished the rehab one of the first things we wanted to do was share the schoolhouse with you, our community! We appreciated all the support and good vibes and wanted to show everyone what we’ve been up to. Well, that won’t be possible for quite a while yet. For now I thought I’d share a few details about the finished rehab on the blog! So here’s part 1 of a 3 part post about all the features in the schoolhouse. This is the “What’s Old and Original” part. Part 2 will be “What’s New,” and part 3 will be “What’s Old but not Original.”IMG_20200614_151043We found this table (but not the chairs) in the attic, Gramp was able to rebuild it!

What’s Old and Original?
Everyone has a different favorite original feature at the schoolhouse. Mine is the hardwood floor. I bet you can’t guess Gramp’s…yep the windows! Philip’s is definitely the five chalkboards because he loves to write on them. Leave us a comment at the end of the post and let us know your favorite! Here’s almost everything we were able to save or repurpose:IMG_20200614_151307These four lights were still hanging in the schoolhouse when we bought it. We took them down then rehung them in almost the exact same location. Also this is a great photo of four of Gramp’s beloved windows!IMG_20200614_150852Our bathroom sink was in the main schoolroom. It had no faucet, there was a shelf next to it for a water jug and a pipe led to the crawl space under the schoolhouse.IMG_20200614_150847The shiplap was underneath the press board in the addition, we took it all down, framed and insulated and then used it for this feature wall!IMG_20200614_150318I love the original floor, you can still see the marks where the school desks were bolted in!IMG_20200614_150307All the trim is original. We found this drawing on one of the trim boards and couldn’t bear to paint over it. We think it’s signed “Richard,” and are taking it as a sign from grandpa!IMG_20200614_150750The barn board was the flooring of the attic in the historic addition. We think it started life as shed on the property and now we’ve repurposed it for our island!IMG_20200614_150347We’re pretty sure it was a shed because you can still see the children’s initials carved into it and some dates from the early 1900’s.IMG_20200614_143242All five chalkboards are original. We took three of them down (and all the trim) to be able to insulate and frame the walls. Then we put them all back up again. Our guests really enjoy writing on them!

What Now?
Gramp will probably tell me I’ve missed a few of the original features. It’s kind of a lot when I list is all out like this! Now Gramp has more time to spend with his only grandchild and I’m taking a break!IMG_20200524_1936494th of July fun..they are plotting big things for sure!IMG_20200630_194945I’m not kidding about taking a break!


12 thoughts on “What’s Old, What’s New? Part 1

  1. Oh how I love every single thing! Congratulations on all your hard work…such a spectacular accomplishment! As to my favorite “old thing” I can’t pick just one! I am thrilled that you were able to save and reuse them all, making your schoolhouse the special sanctuary that it is.
    I thank you for saving this historic and charming property and I look forward to spending a night or two amongst all the priceless memorabilia. We need more people like your loving family in this world!


    1. Thanks Peggy. Come and stay soon! We’re going shopping at some barn sales over the next few weeks and plan to add a few more historic pieces!


  2. Hi, 2 questions, is there a shower? And how many can it sleep. You did a beautiful job.


    On Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 8:55 AM Gramp’s Old School wrote:

    > grampsoldschool posted: “So What’s New? Wow! It’s been six months since > I’ve written a blog! A lot has changed in six months for sure! Here’s a > quick recap of what we’ve been up to. Gramp put in some long hours on > finish work in January and we received our certificate of occupanc” >


    1. Hi Pat, There is a shower! We can sleep 3 – one queen bed in the bedroom and an air mattress in the main room. Here’s the link to the airbnb website. http://bit.ly/GrampsOldSchoolAirbnb


  3. What’s not to love…. Everything you saved is history reliving again, that’s so amazing!
    I have so enjoyed every step you’ve shared. I just love taking old and repurposing it again to live another life.
    Thank you so much for taking us with you


    1. Thanks Lisa, I’m going to do a behind the scenes post at some point with some of the funny things that happened and some of the yikes moments!


  4. I think it turned out so well because most discussions went like this –

    Jill: “I want to do this”

    Gramp: “No, we can’t do it like that”

    Jill: “No is an unacceptable answer”

    Gramp: “Ok, we’ll find a way to make it work” 🙂


    1. Haha too funny! I really don’t like the word “no,” that is unless I’m saying it!


  5. What fun to look at your site after seeing it mentioned in Country Living. We are the owners of a 2 room school house in Lake Ann, Michigan. We are nearing completion of much renovation. What a labor of love and drain on the savings account. But it is fun to have people stop by to thank us for making her beautiful again often with a story that they attended the school. We have a notebook to have people sign. Recently a man stopped to ask if he could buy the bell for his father who attended the school. No way!!! I have written down several ideas from your pictures. I wish you well post Covid.


    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for stopping by the blog! We often have people stop by our project too with wonderful stories. A notebook is a great idea to capture that. We don’t have a bell but we hope to find a period one soon, it’s on the list. It is priceless for sure!


  6. Vickie L Wagner August 6, 2021 — 10:53 am

    What a beautiful job you have done! My ggggrandfather was Alpheus Barber that married Thankful Tefft. They resided in Greenwich until their death. I am sure we are distance “cousins” and someone from my family was in that schooo aoso. Would love to visit it someday.


    1. Thanks so much! Yes I’m sure we are probably related too! I’m hoping to eventually host tours at the schoolhouse for the local community.


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