Gardiner Consolidated School- Near Perry, Bouton, IA
A short five miles away from the fairly bustling town of Perry lies the overgrown, and profoundly dilapidated, remains of the Gardiner Consolidated school. State highway 169 runs adjacent to the property- not that one would be able to tell.The impressive three-story, brick structure is entirely shrouded by growths of Hackberries, Mulberry trees, and wild oaks rendering it almost completely camouflaged to any passerby.
Seldom do I research a location and come up completely empty, however, that happens to be the case with this overgrown consolidated school near Perry. The only information that I was able to find came from a book published in 1922 by George Brown entitled, “Iowas Consolidated Schools.” What I discovered was that this particular school received no state aid. Now, I’m not 100% certain as to what that means for a public school, but my best guess would be that Gardiner Consolidated school was funded and operated on the enrollment fees or other costs. According to the records in Brown’s text, during the school year of 1922, 67 pupils attended class here with 11 of which being high-school students or upper classmen. Presumably, this building housed elementary classes as well as higher level courses for middle/high school aged students. Despite this, 67 pupils is not a substantial amount and considering the non-state-funded status of this school, its no wonder I had trouble finding information. Even while in operation, Gardiner Consolidated was likely a somewhat insignificant school.