March 29, 2018 -- Bichet School
The Bichet school was built in 1896 for the children of French families who settled along the Cottonwood River near Florence, Marion County, Kansas. The first term of 1896 - 1897 included 19 children from 8 families. Along with the one room school house, there are two outhouses and a stone cave (storm shelter for all the tornadoes common in the area) all constructed of native limestone.
The Bichet School District 34 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance and its educational contribution to the children of the French speaking settlement four miles east of Florence, Kansas. The school continued to serve the community until 1946 when it closed because of low enrollment. The last class had two students.
Built by a skilled local craftsman, the one-story school was constructed of native limestone, with a stone foundation and entrance steps. There is an imposing bell tower on the gabled roof and the building has 18-inch walls, which were common in the area at that time. Like many schools of the time it is rectangular shaped and symmetrical with one centered door on the front facade facing east. The stone arch above the door shows the construction date and "District 34".
From 2018 Daily Photos