Molly Kleeman played the part of school mistress of the Axial school. She shared the strict rules students had to abide when the school was first built during a recent field trip to the Wyman Living History Museum by Sandrock Elementary School. Sasha Nelson/staff
A small plaque dedicates the school to former student Walt Proctor who ensured it would be moved to the Wyman Museum when Tri-State Generation & Transmission purchased his family ranch, in Axial Basin where the school was originally built. Sasha Nelson/staff
The newly restored Axial school is believed to have been built in 1893. Sasha Nelson/staff
Molly Kleeman taps her desk to get the attention of the latest students to learn in the Axial school. Sasha Nelson/staff
Sandrock Elementary School students try cursive writing. Sasha Nelson/staff
Students watch as blacksmith Terry Carwile demonstrates how metal implements used to be forged. Sasha Nelson/staff
Moffat County educators give Lou Wyman, top left, high marks for his willingness educate students about Moffat County's living history. Sandrock Elementary School/courtesy
Museum volunteer, Al Shepard, on right, shared the history of some of the exhibits in the main building at the Wyman Museum. Sandrock Elementary School/courtesy
One group of children exit the newly restored, one-room classroom as another group leave the store. Sasha Nelson/staff
A group of students rotates from a tour of the black smith shop to buses waiting to take them back to school and modern life. Sasha Nelson/staff
Students watched as blacksmith Terry Carwile demonstrated how metal implements used to be forged. Sasha Nelson/staff
Joanne Roberson gave students a tour of the old Pagoda store as part of their tour of the Wyman Living History Museum. Sasha Nelson/staff
School Mistress Molly Kleeman uses a chalk board to teach Sandrock Elementary School students a lesson in cursive writing. Sasha Nelson/staff
Joanne Roberson gave students a tour of the old Pagoda store as part of their tour of the Wyman Living History Museum. Sandrock Elementary School/courtesy
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 JosiahGrubbs’ 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.
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