Reed School
bookshelf Rediscovered


By Peter Spicer

Reed School interpretive teacher Amy Zoschke didn’t have to look far to find a bookshelf once used at the historic school.

Zoschke stumbled upon the find while taking her son to a summer program at the Neillsville School District ; she spotted the bookshelf in kindergarten classroom.

The bookshelf ended up at the school district, where it was used for over 50 years after Reed School closed its doors in 1951; the bookshelf was built in 1915 and has held books for 93 years.

The original bookshelf was identified from the only surviving photograph of the classroom and bookshelf in Reed School , said H. H. Bennett Historic Site president and Reed School Wisconsin Historical Society President Dale Williams.

After the discovery, Reed School officials asked the Neillsville School District to return the bookshelf in exchange for a replica bookshelf currently displayed at Reed School , built in 2006.  The Neillsville School Board graciously agreed to grant the request at its Monday, July 14 meeting.

The original bookshelf, which is in excellent condition, and the replica have a few differences, said Williams.  The replica bookshelf was built lower than the original was, he explained.  A few boards on the replica were painted a different color from the original, said Williams.  

“It’s an amazing [discovery] story in itself,” said Williams, who added it was just as remarkable for the bookshelf to be returned to Reed School .

Linda Grottke and her husband, Roger, who live near Reed School and are avid supporters of the school’s restoration, were equally impressed with having the bookshelf returned.

“It’s quite a spectacular story,” said Grottke, who, ironically, taught in a Neillsville third-grade classroom across the hall from the kindergarten classroom where the original bookshelf was placed.

Williams appreciated the efforts of Neillsville Superintendent John Gaier and the Neillsville School Board for agreeing to swap bookshelves.  Williams is also excited to see the bookshelf hold books at Reed School .

“It’s an amazing story,” Williams concluded.


H. H. Bennett Historic Site Director and Reed School Wisconsin Historical Society Director

Dale Williams (l) and Reed School supporter Linda Grottke pose next to a former

Reed School bookshelf that was recently rediscovered and returned to the school

Photo by Peter Spicer/Clark County Press


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 6, 2008, Page 2

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, August 10, 2008

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, August 11, 2006

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