It was a warm summer day in June 2009 when we began production work on our documentary feature film Country School: One Room - One Nation. The first stop on the itinerary was a restored one-room school in Spragueville, Iowa.
Filmmakers Tammy & Kelly Rundle of Fourth Wall Films--trespassing.
A group of 10-15 former students, teachers and preservationists gathered at North Bend Community Center (NBCC) to talk about the work that was done to bring their beloved schoolhouse, once near ruin, back to the symbol of pride high on the hill in their community.
Class is in session with the North Bend Community Center preservationists.
And, they succeeded. The structure was in tip top shape, with bright yellow walls and beautiful artifacts once used to educate classes 1-8 displayed throughout the one-room school.
It was the perfect place to kick off the project and we remember our day in Spragueville fondly. These five years later, we have made many friends as a result of our time at NBCC.
A smiling Geraldine Lambert waits her turn to be interviewed about her experiences teaching in a one-room school.
Country School: One Room - One Nation screened over 70 times in venues and theaters all over the country; was broadcast on PBS stations throughout the midwest; was released nationally on DVD; won numerous awards at film festivals; and was nominated for an Emmy. And it is because of stories like North Bend's that made it so successful.
Former one-room school student Emil Bredekamp waits for his interview to begin. Emil is the comedian of the film.
Order your copy of the Emmy-nominated documentary Country School: One Room - One Nation on DVD by clicking HERE.
More photos from our memorable time filming at North Bend Community Center (Fairfield #2) in Spragueville, Iowa:
Caroline Bredekamp, the passionate preservationist who made sure we knew about North Bend Community Center (Fairfield #2) and invited us to film there, toured us through nearby Fairfield #4 and also pointed out delapidated schools in the area.
Vera Medinger displays her quilt-top during her interview.
Sandy Sander is ready for her close-up.
Richard Ganzer gets the old Victrola turning.
Vera Medinger watches her daughter Jan Schmidt talk on-camera.
Sandy Sander and her mother Wilma Thillmony wait for the interview session to end. Such well-behaved students!
Historian Donald Wentworth provided an in-depth history of the schoolhouse during his interview and took most of the photos featured in this post.
Our gratitude to everyone at North Bend Community Center for sharing your stories, photos, support and friendship!
Photos courtesy the North Bend Community Center, copyright 2009.