Axial School serves Moffat County students again |

Axial School serves Moffat County students again

After two years of careful restoration, students attended lessons in cursive writing in the historic one-room Axial Schoolhouse, newly reopened to the public at the Wyman Living History Museum a few miles east of Craig. “We were working on our local Moffat County and how people of the past influenced the development and interaction of different communities. It is one of our social studies standards,” said teacher Bobbi McAlexander. “This year was the first time we got to visit the schoolhouse, and they had a lesson prepared about cursive and teaching about Axial Basin.” Students from Josiah Grubbs’ and Juliann Matheson’s classes also joined the trip to the school, which museum founder Lou Wyman thinks was built in 1893 by homesteader William “Bill” Taylor to provide a house of education for children around the settlement of Axial, Colorado, and the surrounding area, known as Axial Basin. In July 2017, the school was moved from its original location — on land now owned by Tri-State Generation & Transmission — to the museum as part of an agreement struck in 2015, which prevented the school from being destroyed, said Walt Proctor, a member of the Shaver family and one of the last people to attend the school before it closed in 1962. For the past couple of years, David Wyman led a team of volunteers and professionals who worked to restore the school. “The stuff you do for money doesn’t last, as the money always goes, but working on a project like this creates memories that last,” David Wyman said in September 2017. Helping students make memories and learn a thing or two about Moffat County history involved a cast of characters, including Blacksmith Terry Carwile, School Mistress Molly Kleeman, Shopkeeper Joanne Roberson, and Lou Wyman. The trip was the first spring field trip for Sandrock Elementary School students, but it was originally scheduled for March 13, the day of the bomb cyclone.

“Wyman’s canceled, because they didn’t think they could keep the road clear,” McAlexander said.

It’s a place worth waiting for, she added.

“We chose Wyman, because they always do a wonderful job with the kids, bringing out the blacksmith, teaching about Pagoda and the store. Mr. Wyman always spends so much time interacting with the kids,” she said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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