Country School Preservation Conference

A Vanishing Heritage

September 28-29, 2018

Winterset, Madison County, Iowa

You are invited to the 19th annual conference focused on the preservation of Iowa country schools. In Madison County there were nearly 150 rural schools. Today only a handful remain in their original locations or have been preserved. We hope you come to share your passion for and experience with Iowa country schools.

On Friday, September 28, you will participate in a full day of lectures, panels, and discussions covering various aspects associated with country schools: research, location, preservation, promotion, etc. You will have many opportunities to share your experiences and to learn from others throughout Iowa who have the same interests and concerns. You can continue your discussion with a Dutch treat (pay for your own) supper at the Winterset Pizza Ranch.

On Saturday September 29, a group tour, starting in Winterset and traveling north into Dallas County, will provide you an opportunity to visit several of our preserved and furnished country schools made of logs, stone, and frame. You will also tour our 14-building Madison County Historical Complex, see one of Madison County’s famous Covered Bridges, and enjoy a lunch in the historic Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.  The Conference Program contains all the details.



For detailed information about the conference and to register, please download and review the outside and inside of the Conference Program. The Registration Form and Instructions are included on the inside of the Program.

You may view or print the Program with these links:

Conference Program – Outside
Conference Program – Inside
Registration form only

Silent Auction

Attendees are asked to bring items that can be used to furnish a country school (bells, slate boards, recent books related to county schooling, etc.). These items will be displayed and sold at a silent auction during the Conference. Proceeds are used to fund a mini-grant program to assist with country school restoration.


Hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other alternatives can be found at


The conference organizing team is indebted to those locally who are contributing to its success.

Preservation Iowa

Luminosity Design

Madison County Chamber of Commerce

Madison County Historic Preservation Commission

Madison County Historical Society

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