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Back-to-school exhibit at Falls on Colorado Museum

Back-to-school exhibit at Falls on Colorado Museum

A lone desk from a single-room schoolhouse sits in the center of the Madolyn Frasier Room at The Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls. The museum is housed in the Old Granite School Building, which became the Marble Falls school district’s first major building in 1908. The exhibit will be up through the end of August. Courtesy photo

A lone, historical school desk with slates and chalk sits in the center of the Madolyn Frasier Room at The Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls as students head back to real classrooms on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The exhibit will be in place until the end of the month.

“Come and get a feel for what school was like back in the old days,” said museum board member Darlene Oostemeyer. “We put the desk in the center of that old, wood floor and set bonnets and books on it as if it’s inviting a child coming into the first grade.” 

The building itself is a back-to-school exhibit. It was the first schoolhouse for the Marble Falls Independent School District when it formed in 1908. The land was sold to be used for a school by city founder Adam R. Johnson, a surveyor and Civil War veteran who returned from the war blinded. A visit to the museum will fill in the gaps of the story about the town “laid out by a blind man.” 

Students attended classes in the pink granite schoolhouse until 1987, although it was mostly converted to administrative offices in 1982. 

The museum is still surrounded by students as the ever-growing Marble Falls Elementary School has built around it. 

The fact that the desk sits in the Madolyn Frasier Room is also significant. Frasier was known as the unofficial historian of Marble Falls and was an avid supporter of the Marble Falls Mustangs. A 1959 graduate of Marble Falls High School, Frasier spent her entire school life in the old granite building. She took over duties as coordinator of the district’s all-class reunion during homecoming each year. 

Frasier died in 2012, leaving behind boxes of clippings, photos, and other memorabilia that were given to the museum. 

The Madolyn Frasier Room is lined with some of those cherished memories, including a section of purple lockers from the high school. One of the bigger rooms in the museum, it was dedicated to Frasier for her work as a community supporter and history buff. It now houses special, short-term exhibits.

Speaking of which, a new exhibit is set to open in Frasier’s room in September. “The Way We Were” is a traveling exhibit of old town photos from across the state of Texas. The Falls on the Colorado Museum will supplement the collection with its own local photographs. 

“We have pictures of old buildings the way they used to look and of how Main Street used to look,” Oostemeyer said. “Some of the buildings are still standing.”