Nestled in Northern Iowa

Nestled in rural Palo Alto County, sits the barely there town of Ayshire and the remains of the Silver Lake Consolidated school.  The regal brick building with two grand entrances sits right on the main road with its front door wide open, with its only remaining visitors the birds and maybe a few thrill seekers.


Various shades of bright blue paint still cling to the walls and the tattered remains of heavy curtains continue to hang from the classroom windows. Even though the children are no longer here, this school is anything but empty.


It is impossible to look at these empty classrooms and not imagine what they once looked like filled with school desks and books, yet I still see so much beauty in what these rooms are now.


Opened in 1921, the Silver Lake Consolidated school was one of two schools open in Ayrshire Iowa, a once thriving community in Northern Iowa.  As evident in the picture below, the school was certainly a centerpiece of the town and stood proud along it’s main road.


Not long after the large, modern gymnasium was constructed and attached through the lower level, the school would finally meet its end and be consolidated with the Ruthven school in 1982.


It is interesting to note that the main building, while open to the elements, seems to be withstanding the test of time with more grace than its newer addition, which is already crumbling in on itself.  Really proves that they simply do not make them like they used to.


11 thoughts on “Nestled in Northern Iowa

  1. Kim June 22, 2018 / 8:39 PM

    Stunning pics, and I love those blue colors on the walls. I so enjoy these pictures of old school buildings. Nice work – thanks for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sal June 22, 2018 / 8:46 PM

    Sad, but beautiful in a melancholy sort of way. I enjoy looking at your photos and reading your commentary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica Mae Olson June 22, 2018 / 8:47 PM

      It is certainly such an odd combination. Decay can be so sad and beautiful at the same time. And thank you so much for your kind words. I am so elated that people enjoy these locations as well!


  3. Lindy Buren August 13, 2018 / 10:39 AM

    I attended Ayrshire school for 12 years and it was definitely alive and well. No football program but basketball, softball, baseball, and outstanding band program. The band traveled and performed and received perfect straight one’s in marching contests. Seeing these pictures brought back memories of clean and well maintained building but sad to see it now.


    • Jessica Mae Olson August 13, 2018 / 10:42 AM

      Thank you for sharing your memories! I can imagine it’s hard to see in this state of disrepair.


  4. Debi August 25, 2018 / 7:44 PM

    These pictures sometimes move me to tears. It’s almost like the walls are screaming for the want of normalcy again. These are really, really moving! As an empath, these really get to me!!


    • Jessica Mae Olson August 25, 2018 / 7:59 PM

      Wow Debi, thank you so much for your comment. I am also a true empath and find myself so moved by these locations sometimes. It’s an odd mix between beautiful and heartbreaking.


  5. Ron Loomis December 11, 2018 / 9:41 AM

    I went to that school for grades K-12. Still remember every room shown. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James Degnan December 28, 2020 / 11:13 AM

    I attended the school for my junior and senior years. Class President in senior year. We had a big class of about 32. Basket ball and baseball were high on everyone’s list and we had some good teams. I have many memories of the classes that we had and the good times. I think we had good teachers although we didn’t have some of the science classes like chemistry and physics that would have helped me get through freshman year at Iowa State. That’s another story! Anyway, nice to know the school is still standing.

    Liked by 1 person

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