Saved By The Bell

The Baxendale Schoolhouse rolling through the intersection at William Street and US Highway 12 just after midnight.

The Baxendale Schoolhouse rolling through the intersection at William Street and US Highway 12 just after midnight.

Baxendale Schoolhouse Moves to New Home

The Montana Preservation Alliance is pleased to announce their official adoption of the Baxendale School and to welcome the schoolhouse to its new home at 2975 Country Club Rd, the junction of Country Club Rd and Head Lane.

The school is being relocated to land owned by the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts under an agreement with the Montana Preservation Alliance, to enable the MPA to save it and to re-purpose the building as a preservation education and training classroom. The school is being generously donated to the MPA for this use by Bob and Marci Anderson, owners of the Wassweiler Dinner House & Pub on Hwy 12 West, where the schoolhouse has stood for the past 20 years. Faced with a lack of parking and an interest to see the schoolhouse preserved, the Anderson’s kindly offered it for adoption, and have partnered with the MPA to ensure the move will provide a better home for the schoolhouse.

This move was made possible thanks to generous support from the Montana History Foundation’s Emergency Grant program, and the George and Betty Harbaugh Foundation, as well as private donations. In the words of Chere Jiusto, MPA Executive Director, “The MPA is deeply grateful to these funders for making this school rescue effort possible, and we thank our local non-profit partners in this project -- the Archie Bray Foundation and the Prickly Pear Land Trust – who joined with the MPA to explore options for relocating the schoolhouse to a quiet new location.”

The school is being moved by longtime professional building movers, Tamietti House Moving and Construction. Based in Butte, Tamietti House Moving is a family run business with four generations of expertise in the field.

The Baxendale School was built around 1890 and originally located near the Holter sawmill at the Baxendale town site. It served as a school in three locations west of Helena, and as a community center until in 1997, it moved again to the current Wassweiler property where it was part of an antique mall, and later a yarn shop.

Once moved, the Baxendale School will be secured for the winter, while MPA raises the funds needed to complete its restoration back to its original use -- a school. There is much public excitement about this concept and MPA looks forward to working with our partners and the Helena community to reopen the school in late 2019 as MPA’s new Montana Preservation Training Center.