McCandless Park, Highway 77 in Wymore
The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project owns and operates the historic District 81 Pleasant View Schoolhouse, located in McCandless Park in the city of Wymore. It is a fully furnished 1900-era one-room schoolhouse museum. Thomas J. & Elizabeth (Rowlands) Humphreys held the first Welsh school in their home until George U. Jones donated the land in 1878 and School District 81 was established, three years before the town of Wymore was established.
The present schoolhouse was built in 1906 and was originally located about two miles south of Wymore at the north end of the Welsh settlement centered on the Bethel Welsh church. This was the first school to be built by the Welsh community for the education of their children. At first, many children only spoke Welsh. Therefore, it was important that teachers come from the Welsh community, and many teachers were recent graduates of Wymore High School. The school was closed in the fall of 1960 and relocated to McCandless Park in 1967.
In the fall of 2007 a grant to renovate the schoolhouse was received by the City of Wymore from the Margaret and Martha Thomas Foundation. The bell tower was refurbished, the entrance was made handicap accessible with a new ramp, the outside was scraped and painted and a sidewalk was installed from the street to the building.
Twice a year volunteers from the Great Plains Welsh Heritage project offer “A Day at Country School” event at the schoolhouse for local 4th graders. Students experience a day of authentic 1929 lessons and learn a little Welsh. They also learn about the history of country schools and the significance of this particular school in the Welsh settlement. The Pleasant View Schoolhouse is open to visitors Memorial Day weekend, Sam Wymore Days in June and on request.
Help Us “Fill The Pail” And Restore The Schoolhouse
In 2018 and 2019 we are undertaking a major restoration project to return the Pleasant View Schoolhouse back to its original, early-twentieth century appearance. The work will be undertaken by Roy Hanni, a historic preservation specialist with more than 30 years’ experience restoring buildings in his native Switzerland and the United States. Hanni’s expertise lies in recreating stonework, plaster, paint and wallpaper, and matching them to original materials. In order to fund the restoration project, we invite you to donate to our “Fill The Pail” campaign, inspired by the lunch pails children still carried to the schoolhouse until it closed in the 1960s. Please contact us for more information on how you can help us “Fill The Pail.”