Nome Schoolhouse Opens After Nearly 3 Years Of Renovation
The Women Behind The Nome Schoolhouse Hope To Turn The Tiny N.D. Town Into A Worldwide Destination
NOME, N.D. (KVRR) — For two and a half years we’ve been following the story of the Nome Schoolhouse, a 105-year-old building in the tiny town of Nome, North Dakota, southeast of Valley City.
The building had been abandoned for nearly 50 years when Chris Armbrust and Teresa Perleberg bought it in late 2018. They both owned fiber arts businesses, and had a vision for the place.
I visited in January of 2019. The place was a disaster. A half-century of dust covered rubble, crumbling walls and buckling floors. The gym had piles of snow on the floor. The ceiling caved in in the back of the school. But the women behind the schoolhouse said they had their vision focused from the start.
And nearly three years of hard work culminated in their grand opening, happening this weekend.
I went out to the opening day Thursday, and boy things had changed since I was there last in 2019.
The newly-renovated and rebuilt schoolhouse blends the old with the new. Original wood and bricks were used to build parts of the new bar, dining room and 11 hotel rooms. You can even see the names of students from generations past scrawled on the bricks.
There is a museum room featuring old artifacts from the school and surrounding community.
The gym, where piles of snow greeted me on my last visit, is now an events space for concerts and weddings.
Armbrust and Perleberg will bring their animals to live on site. It’s where their yarn-making and felting businesses are now headquartered.
Their hope is that all of this will turn the small town of Nome, with a population only in the double digits, into a name known worldwide.
Perleberg says, “We’re excited to make it a destination. That’s been our dream from the start to have people come from all over the United States, all over the world. There’s not other place like this, and to have all the fiber arts, all the animals, all the entire process here. We want to focus on education with the retreats, and we want people to experience farm life, rural life here in North Dakota.”
Nome is just over an hour drive from Fargo. Their grand opening celebrations continue through Sunday. Find out more about the Nome Schoolhouse and grand opening celebrations by clicking here.