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Whispers of the Past
Every old, neglected house - every ancient, abandoned building -
has something important to say.  They're just waiting for someone to
come and listen while they whisper stories of the past.  How much
we learn will depend on how much we want to hear.  -- Nancy
Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences
of which he was completely unaware. -- D. M. Thomas
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.
-- Sara Teasdale
The Past Whispers

On some misty morning, when the earth is hushed and still,
When the fog obscures the treetops and hides both lake and rill,
Go reverently and quietly and listen for the sounds;
You'll see the past and hear it, when the ghosts go on their rounds.

Ghosts don't come in sunlight, they don't come in blinding storm;
They gather in the silver light, when mist brings in the morn.
They move cautiously and slowly, to make the moment last,
Entertaining all who listen with whispers of the past.

They talk of things that used to be, as they move along their way,
And all too soon, they disappear, as mist turns into day.
You can watch in silent wonder, as their lines begin to form;
You can hear them - if you listen - on some quiet misty morn.

-- Nancy Brister
Ghost House

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
A cellar in which the daylight falls,
And purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
O'er ruined fences the grapevines shield,
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.
I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;
The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about;
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.
It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me -
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.
They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad -
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

-- Robert Frost
Suddenly, the old glory conceived by the original
designer was magically restored and he found himself
in a world of ordered grandeur as visionary as any
other ghost of the past.  
-- Margery Allingham
Forest Grove Schoolhouse, Scott County, Iowa, was constructed in 1873 and
closed in 1957.  The Forest Grove School Preservation group is in the midst of
restoring the schoolhouse to its 1940's appearance.  When the restoration is
completed, the group plans to open the building to elementary school
students for re-enactments that would meet curriculum requirements for Iowa
History.  Above:  Forest Grove school before work to restore and preserve
the building started.  Below:  the school as it looked in the early 1900's.