People celebrate Christmas at the 1916 Buffalo High School
"Everything is a labor of love, it takes a lot of helping hands to do what we do."
BUFFALO, N.D. (KVRR) –A renovated 1916 High School building in Buffalo, North Dakota is now the town’s hotspot for social gatherings.
Christmas comes alive on Pearl Street as people from around the area fill into Buffalo’s renovated 1916 High School building to socialize, eat, and shop.
“The school just becomes this old-fashioned Christmas. We deck the halls and want people to come in and enjoy the holidays here with us,” said Liane Stout, Buffalo High School Coordinator.
Several vendors from around the area set up in the school’s gymnasium upstairs.
“This school is just so beautiful, it is really cozy to have something like this in the community that everyone can come to and support each other and their small businesses. It is awesome,” said vendor, Roxy Kasowski.
The building holds a special place in several peoples’ hearts – walking up the stairs is like walking through memory lane.
“I am a graduate from this school, my two sisters are, my aunts, my uncles, and my mother. My mother graduated here in 1936 so every time I go up and down that staircase and put my hand on that banister, I think of her,” explained Stout.
“My dad and my father-in-law both attended this school. All of my dad’s siblings were here and my husband’s siblings went here too – it is home. So it is really neat, you can see all of their pictures on the wall and yearbook pictures,” added Kasowski.
The building closed in 1978 and sat empty until the Buffalo Historical Society took possession of it in 2001. Many renovations have been done to keep the school ‘the soul and heart of the community’.
“Everything is a labor of love, it takes a lot of helping hands to do what we do,” said Stout.
Several events are hosted here throughout the year. Liane says she is passionate about keeping the building alive and overflowing with people.
“Those are the memories that inspire me and it is amazing. The people that come through here and remember something, and that includes young people who say, ‘I think my grandpa went to school here,’ and I say, ‘I think I have a picture of him upstairs.'”
The building is also used for learning and educational opportunities, meetings, and reunions.