Abandoned Vermont: Taplin School

This historic building appeared abandoned from the road; yet it always appeared to be kept up with some amount of care. The weathered gray clapboards, locked door, solid windows without broken panes and mowed lawn showed that someone used it recently.

Taplin School. It looks lonely, right?

It certainly could use a new coat of paint.

Old hardware on the front door.

At first, I couldn’t decipher exactly what it is. It has an institutional or civic look to it – something that isn’t quite residential.

It doesn't quite look like a school from here, either.

I peaked in the front windows, both of which appeared to have closets. I walked around back and saw the tell-tale sign of a schoolhouse.

The bank of windows, although the tree line is awfully close. It was obvious that this hadn't been a school for decades. I had never seen a schoolhouse with windows in the rear. Maybe this bank of windows was added when the school was modernized.

The building was empty inside, though I did notice a giant hole in the roof, debris on the floor and a damaged floor. Poor little schoolhouse.

Debris from the hole in the roof can be seen on the floor. The outline of a former chalkboard can be seen on the left - another sign of the schoolhouse!

You can see part of the roof damage on the eave.

Fortunately, I was able to find out the history of this building by looking in the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation files. It was built in the 1860s, modernized in the early 1900s to be a “Superior School” and operated as a school until the 1960s. The Division recorded the structure in 1976, and Green Mountain Power Company has owned the property at least since then. So, you could say that this building isn’t abandoned, but it certainly is neglected. And it needs a new roof! (Don’t worry, I’ve contacted the right people to inform them of the building’s condition.) Let’s hope it gets one before snow flies, because a hole in the roof can destroy an otherwise sound building.