Upper Northfield Schoolhouse, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia


Steve Jobs once said something to the effect that people don't know what they want until you show it to them. He wasn't talking about finding old schoolhouses in real estate listings, but the rule still applies.

This schoolhouse in Upper Northfield, near Lunenburg, Canada was built in 1869 and is 1,700 square feet. 

It has already had some renovation to make it livable, including boarding up an old entrance and adding a kitchen.

To further the renovation, I found inspiration in another old school, just 45 minutes away:

Then, just a little further away, well, ok, a lot further (in Sweden), I found even more inspiration in an old church that could be the twin to our schoolhouse:



I liked the matching inspiration I found, but my style is a little less contemporary. I would lean more into turning this...

...into this:

It's still a little contemporary, but it just feels a little warmer and would look fantastic with the existing pendant lights.

Let's peek upstairs. The listing says it served as a community room.

All I can say is if the boxes of Samuel Adams and Southern Comfort took precedence over the boxes of paper, no wonder the school looks the way it does now.

Not sure if the renovations thus far have included a bathroom. For what it's worth, this is the only one in the listing photos:

There are footprints leading to it. Just saying.

The schoolhouse overlooks a large marshland that is said to be a birdwatcher's paradise, and probably was very distracting to the students, back in the day.

A little more about one of our inspiration sources: This is the 1830 Chebogue schoolhouse that was dismantled and moved near Lunenburg. It's basically a twin of the Northfield schoolhouse.

This is the compound where it rests now. (It's the second building from the left.) All of those nifty buildings are vacation rentals with incredible views of Moshers Bay and Moshers Island.

I looked in vain for historic information or photos of our old schoolhouse. Let's just pretend it's included on this antique map:

Like an old schoolhouse, Lunenburg itself is still quite the attraction. Old Town Lunenburg is an Unesco World Heritage Site. It's just a bit more colorful today than it was in its Old Town heyday:

The Old House Dreams listing is here.

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