McKean school opens to public

Summer campers, some dressed in period costumes, stand during at their desks during a previous summer camp session at the McKean School on the grounds of Boutwells Landing. The school is open for tours from noon to 2 p.m. June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21, Aug. 4 and 18 and Sept. 1 and 15. (Gazette file photo)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — There are not many one-room school houses around anymore, especially buildings with a 19th century Steinway® piano inside.

Boutwells Landing has just such a school. The Historic McKean School will open to the public for two Sundays each month throughout the summer. The school, originally located south of Stillwater, was moved to the Boutwells Landing campus in 2008. It has been restored and refurnished by Boutwells Landing residents and volunteers. Repainted, with new outside steps and a U.S. flag, the school is nestled in a pine grove on Norwich Parkway, inside the west entrance to Boutwells Landing.

The school will be open to the public from Noon to 2 p.m. Sundays, June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21, August 4 and 18 and September 1 and 15. Boutwells Landing resident hosts will give informative tours of the school. Visitors can see the Steinway piano as well as restored desks, blackboards and period lighting, wash stand, linen towel and bar of Ivory® soap, and a pot-bellied stove.

“Come and bring the children and grandchildren. It’s a great place to tell them about how you used to walk to school in the winter, uphill and barefoot,” said Mary Spencer, a Boutwells Landing resident host.