I was visiting my hometown for winter break, and I decided to swing on over to the Merrill area in central Wisconsin to follow a lead or two and see what I could dig up. The lead in question was an old elementary school that once served roughly 80 children until it was closed down in 2007.
Here's a shot of the main entrance from the road.
And here's the playground, long since rusted and overgrown.
The entire school was centered around one long hallway that ran the length of the building.
The school had five classrooms total, corresponding to grades 1-5.
The classroom walls were covered in graffiti. I actually figured out who did a significant chunk of it with five minutes of Googling. Pro tip- if you don't want to be identified as a tagger, don't paint the username for your personal Instagram on the walls.
Here's the gymnasium/lunchroom, filled with all sorts of junk. According to an old news article, some vandals smashed up a bunch of it back in 2013.
I accidentally tripped this motion detector as I reached the other end of the building, and had to beat a hasty retreat in case it was tied to a silent alarm or something. I was not expecting electronic security in a location this easy to access and with so little of value inside, so I wasn't looking for it until I heard it click.
Bonus location: On my way to the school, I stumbled across this abandoned house along the back roads of central Wisconsin. It looked virtually untouched except for several decades of natural decay.
Here's an exterior view.
It had a toy train inside.
And also an old vacuum tube radio.
Lastly, the kitchen. It looks like the owners just got up and left one day- the plates on the kitchen table still have the blackened crusty remains of a long since rotted meal.
All in all, it was a nice way to kick off the new year.