South Evergreen Schoolhouse

Saving an important piece of history

South Evergreen Schoolhouse  -  Restoration


Thanks to John’s Towing for donating time and equipment to remove the belfry.

The belfry was taken down so the schoolhouse could be re-roofed.

The belfry will be restored and returned along with a new bell.

The old shingles were removed and the roof repaired.

New shingles were installed.

This section of the front needed new cedar siding.

New cedar siding ( right front ).

New cedar siding ( left front ).

Larry VanDussen, Bob Lemieux and Jim Fitzpatrick removed the old shingles from the shed.

This is what the shed looked like after the shingles were removed.

Jim Key and Jim Fitzpatrick were part of the crew that installed new shingles on the shed.

Larry VanDussen on the right, Harry Clark on the roof.

Here the roof was almost completed.

November 6, 2015:

Here are photos that were taken when the bathtub was removed from the schoolhouse. It had to be pushed up on end and then scooted along the floor on a piece of Formica.  And finally pushed out the back door.  The bathtub was made of cast Iron and must have weighed 500 pounds.

There is a “trap door” in the schoolhouse floor and when opened, you can see four different levels of flooring.

November 13, 2015

Stump Grinding on the schoolhouse property.

October 9, 2015

Tree Trimming at South Evergreen.

November 2015

Some ceiling tile was removed to reveal a tongue and groove beadboard ceiling.

These name tags were found on the north end of the east wall.  The plastered wall that displayed these name tags had been covered up by fiberboard that was likely added when the new entrance and bathrooms were added to the schoolhouse during the summer of 1947.  It appears these name tags were used to identify coat hooks that were assigned to individual students.  There are nine in all, only three or four that can be identified by their full names.


Luella Spinner’s name appears on one of the name tags.  Luella started school at South Evergreen in 1930 as a kindergartener and went through the 8th grade.

Some of the siding was replaced

July 29, 2016



Left to Right: Raymond Miller, Mennow Miller and Ervin Keiw


East Side

West Side

Old electrical work was removed

July 18, 2016

Jim Key working on a "secret box", behind the hinged medicine cabinet!

Old electrical outlet

Bill Link removing old electrical work.  Bill’s wife, Mary Jane, is the great niece of Lizzie Golden.   Lizzie taught at South Evergreen back in 1894-1896.

Jim Key and Jim Fitzpatrick scrapping the old green paint off the schoolhouse

Freshly painted schoolhouse ( East Side )

Freshly painted schoolhouse and shed  ( West Side )

The belfry being restored by Jim Fitzpatrick

October / November 2016

The flag pole being restored by Jim Key

October 2016

Outhouse Restoration


As it turns out, a local resident was using one of the original outhouses as a garden shed.  He had painted it red and green and kept it in good shape.  The owner of the original outhouse was willing to give up his garden shed if it would be replaced with a new one.   He understood that a restoration project “ought to be as original as possible”.   The Coopersville High School Wood Shop offered to make a replacement garden shed.  They also offered to remove a window from the original outhouse that had been added when it was converted to a garden shed.  Both the new and old structures were then taken to South Evergreen for painting.


A special thanks to the Coopersville High School Wood Shop.

June 2017

Jim Fitzpatrick standing next to the new steps at the back door of South Evergreen.

August 2017

Jan Kimble finished painting and refinishing the screen door for the back door of the school house and installed it on September 5, 2017.

September 5, 2017

Belfry restoration completed September 12, 2017.

This photo shows the new front door that Les Lindberg made from White Oak cut from local trees.  The hardware is from the original door.

September 13, 2017   Belfry Installation

Before and after photos.

The South Evergreen schoolhouse with belfry.

Transported to South Evergreen.

Thanks to John’s Towing for donating time and equipment to replace the belfry.

Jim Fitzpatrick and Jim Key securing the belfry to the roof.

Click here to view a two minute video of the belfry installation.


Click here to listen to the schoolhouse bell.

September 19, 2017   Flag Pole Installation

September 20, 2017

View of the steps after they were painted by Jan Kimble.

Jim Key and Jim Fitzpatrick installing the flag pole.

The South Evergreen schoolhouse with belfry and flag pole.

May 24, 2018   Back door installation

The old back door was removed.

Marv Lindberg prepared the new door for installation.

Inside and outside views of the newly installed back door.

May 2018   Working on Schoolhouse Windows

Jim Key cleaning old glazing off one of the windows.

Windows were removed.

July 2018   Replastering the inside of the schoolhouse

Some of the old plaster was removed.

All the plaster was removed from the wall between the entryway and the east bathroom.

This old insulation had to be  removed.

Metal lath was added to some sections of the walls.

Here is a close-up of metal lath installed over original wood lath.

Tarpaper was placed behind some of the metal lath.

East and South Walls

South and West Walls

West and North Walls

These last three photos show the newly plastered walls.  Dwight Frasier and his company ( Master Plaster Patcher ) did the work.


December 12, 2018   Installation of new lights in the schoolhouse

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union training center of Coopersville installed new lighting.

Thanks to the IBEW union training center for installing new baseboard heaters.

February 7, 2019   Installation of new electric baseboard heaters

July 2019   New Paint on the walls and ceiling

December 2021   Installation of the new septic system


When Mark Kuperus, of Kuperus Excavating, heard that a new septic system for the schoolhouse was necessary, he offered to do the work and donate the cost of its excavation and installation.