National Register of Historic Places

Lower Shell School House

East of Greybull

Date Added to Register

Tuesday, June 25, 1985

Smithsonian Number


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The Lower Shell Schoolhouse is located in a rather desolate portion of the arid Big Horn Basin in northern Wyoming. The school, constructed in 1903, consists of only one room. It was one of the first non-log community buildings in the area and was constructed by unknown masons on land donated to the Odessa school district. Local homesteaders assisted in the construction and quarried rock from the surrounding hills. Although the main use was that of a school, it functioned from the beginning as a Sunday school and church for traveling preachers, a hall for dances, holiday parties and a wide variety of organizational meetings. Use as a school ended in the mid 1950s, but until its final abandonment in the early 1970s, it was still in use as a meeting hall. The value of the school house is as a representative example of the vanishing one-room school house. The building's simple form epitomizes the austere life of the region's earliest pioneers.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources