Hundreds visit newly remodeled Kage School in Cape Girardeau - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hundreds visit newly remodeled Kage School in Cape Girardeau

(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
Hundreds visited the refurbished building on Sunday (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS). Hundreds visited the refurbished building on Sunday (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS).
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A number of visitors came by Kage School to learn about the history of the one-room school that was established in 1854.

However, some came to revisit their early school years when they went to school there themselves.

Heartland News talked to Joanna Proctor who said she went to school here from 1940 to 1942.

Proctor doesn't remember much but says that's one of the reasons why she came back to revisit.

She even recently found her second grade report card from when she was a student there in 1942.

"I just happen to find it,” Proctor said. “I found it among some other artifacts that I had saved and pictures and also found a picture of a school trip that they had taken from on the train from Cape Girardeau to Chaffee. That was back in probably 1941.”

There were plenty of old books found in the school that were on display for people to look at and take.

A donation was encouraged for any books taken.

Among these books were old arithmetic books, encyclopedias and other books.

The schoolhouse was nearly lost. It served students in the Cape Girardeau area until 1966.

The school was shuttered and sat empty for decades.

Termites and water ravaged the old building to the point it was placed on the list of most endangered buildings by the Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission.

Kage School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

In the spring of 2014, local businessman Rick Hetzel and his wife Cheryl Mothes purchased the old school from Dr. Keith Deimund and vowed to restore it.

The year-long renovation is complete.

The Kage School re-opened this weekend as the Historic Kage School Guest Cottage.

A two bedroom, fully furnished space available to visitors for overnight rental.

While the building is fully modernized in terms of appliances and furnishings, Hetzel felt it was important to keep several unique pieces of the school's history encountered during the remodeling process.

Of the historic finds, contractors recovered a wooden top plate to one of the original center beams. The wood block is inscribed in pencil “1880 – C & S.” Hetzel says the building was constructed in 1880 by two builders, P.A. Smith & H.L. Cofer.

“When we found this piece, we visualized these guys, like artists, taking the time to add their marks to this top plate; probably never imagining someone would find it 135 years later,” Hetzel said.

Wednesday, an opening ceremony commemorated Kage's renewed use.

Boy Scout Davis Deimund, grandson of former school owner Dr. Keith D Deimund, raised the American flag on the school's original flagpole to mark the re-opening of the historic building.

The flag now flying over Kage School is itself a piece of history.

It was also raised over the American Compound in Afghanistan during the combat tour of Hetzel's son-in-law, USAF Major Joe Lopez.

The rehabilitation of the one-room schoolhouse required extensive interior and exterior repairs due to the termite and water damage over the past 50 years.

“We tried to save many of the original school artifacts and were successful in keeping the original pine hardwood floors, the school lights, many pieces of school furniture and fixtures, and hundreds of school books,” Hetzel said.

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