|City/Town: • Ravanna
|Location Class: • Disappearing Towns • School
|Built: • 1888 | Abandoned: • 1930
|Status: • Endangered • Burned Down • Disappearing Towns
|Photojournalist: • Quincy Vagell
The Ravanna School was built in late 1888, it was a two-story, stone building that would serve the community. By November twenty-one men had been employed to work on the new educational facility and were noted to be making excellent progress. Less than a month later the foundation for the building had been set and work started on the joists and walls short thereafter. Around the start of spring, work began to wrap up with “one half-days work” more and the mason work would be done. By summer enclosure of the building was complete and the open house was soon to be set with the drama Seth Greenback being played as entertainment by the Ravanna dramatic troupe. After completion, the building stood two stories tall on top of a basement and was made of native stone quarried from nearby.
The upper floor of the building was never completely finished but was perfect for holding dances and other activities. The first floor was used for classes and was one big room where all the students learned together. Miss Rosamond James was given a contract to teach at the school throughout the 1920s. She was an excellent teacher that gave almost perfect spelling lessons and creating an environment of success.
The school closed in the 1930s after consolidating with White Mound, Enterprise and Pawnee Valley. The land was sold and in 1947 a gentleman by the name of John Bryant was owner of the land and its buildings. Bryant removed the roof, flooring, and all other wood out of the school and transported it roughly four miles north to his ranch and used the materials to build a barn and bunkhouse. The barn stood tall up until a few years ago when the wind blew it down, the bunkhouse returned to the ground around 2019 and the debris was bulldozed shortly after. With a pretty solid shell left of the school, John utilized it as a platform to load out his cattle from. Semis would be backed onto the property, cattle loaded, and they would be sent off to Kansas City. The official demise of the building came after a tornado blew through the disappearing town destroying many of the remaining rock structures to the point of no return. The school structure was damaged too heavily to continue being used as a load-out platform and it was officially abandoned. Thankfully even after all these years the Ravanna School bell was purchased and saved at an estate sale of Bill Smiths. The story of how the bell was obtained was that his brother who lived close to Ravanna climbed up in the bell tower and took the bell down salvaging it.
See below for pictures of the Ravanna School from Tom Reed and take a look at the video included for some further history on the town.
Gallery Below of Ravanna School
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