– By Suzy Kelly, Buena Vista Heritage
The cement block Maxwell Park School sits three miles south of Buena Vista on County Road 321. It was also sometimes known as the Mt. Princeton School.
The school building was built of handmade cement blocks and you can see the hand and fingerprints in the blocks. The Centerville school, now gone, was also built of these blocks. The blocks are from 18-23 inches long and hollow; the cement is rough and full of rocks. The kitchen addition on the Kelly ranch house is also built of these same blocks. There are fish scale shingles on gables at the peak at front and back of the school. The building is 30’7” long and 26’ wide. There is a bell tower (minus the bell) on the front of the roof. The Maxwell School was started in 1889 and was used until 1933. Behind the school building was a barn for the kids to keep their horses in while they were in school for the day. Attached to the back of the school is a cement shed addition to store the coal for the big stove that heated the building. There were two outhouses in the back, one for girls and one for boys. The well for the school was across the road to the south. There were two coat closets on each side of the front door and hooks for coats and shelves. The interior was finished with lathe and plaster. There were wooden desks, the teacher’s desk, an Edna pump organ, maps in wall cases you could pull down, slate blackboards, and a bucket with a dipper for a drink.