Hatteberg's People - Valerie And Mike Brunhoeber

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

On Hatteberg's People, history is sometimes left for the older members of the community. They lived it, they know it, they love it. Not so, this time. Near Caldwell, KS, Valerie & Mike Brunhoeber are a young family who just couldn't let an old schoolhouse fall to the termites. So they saved it....moved it, and are restoring hit. Not too young to have a sense of history.

"Mostly it is on a small hill by itself. It's obviously a small one-room white wooden siding gable-roof building.

For Mike Brunhoeber, everywhere he looks, a sense of history.

"This one was actually close to being demolished. So it was almost a goner."

Outside, history comes alive as Valerie Brunhoeber looks like she is right out of the 1800's as horse and rider approach the old Belleview school. For her, this is what she would have loved to do in the old days.

"Yes, I do wish I was back in the day, riding the horse to school. It's just peaceful, relaxing you know...out with nature."

Last year, Valerie and Mike decided to buy the old school and move it on to their property. Originally located about five miles from their home near Caldwell in Sumner County, the old building was in danger of disappearing. The move was completed in the cold of last February. Now, the Schoolhouse, built in 1882, is saved from termites and time.

"This is not only a part of everyone's history, this is Caldwell's history, it's our community, so in turn, we're trying to give back to the community through this as well."

"I don't mind a little bit of work, I'm a country girl and the coyotes howling while we're working in here at night doesn't bother me."

While the parents work, the Brunhoeber's daughter sits and colors as have hundreds of children before her. The old schoolhouse is used to that. It's history is written in the walls and the pictures and outside there is even more.

"The Chisholm Trail is right out the west window."

"Where this building set, the Chisholm Trail was right out the east windows. How many of those kids were gawking out the very same windows we're looking out right now wishing they were outside, instead of being in here doing an exam."

He's right! If only these blackboards could talk.

"I'd like to designate that south wall for other school pictures from the area."

"If we let this thing to and it gets demolished, it's gone forever."

Almost every day they work on the old school....they hope to make it available to the community for local gatherings.....it's a project they just can't stop.

"Yes, of course I'm happy with this life."

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