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Published February 01, 2014, 12:00 AM

Schoolhouse restoration

An abandoned 100-year-old schoolhouse that was becoming surrounded by oil development in western North Dakota is now transformed into a historic new home for Williston business owners.


The Twin Butte School No. 1, pictured June 25, 2012, was becoming surrounded by oil development at its original location in Williams County when business owners Mark and Mary Pettersen discovered it. Photo by Mary Pettersen

  • The Twin Butte School No. 1, pictured June 25, 2012, was becoming surrounded by oil development at its original location in Williams County when business owners Mark and Mary Pettersen discovered it. Photo by Mary Pettersen
  • The Twin Butte School is removed from its original foundation on Sept. 25, 2012. The school’s first teacher taught in 1912-13 and the school district dissolved in 1950, according to a book by the Williams County Historical Society.  Photo by Mary Pettersen
  • Crews needed to raise power lines when the Twin Butte schoolhouse  was moved on Oct. 9, 2012. Moving the school 20 miles to its new home required a 40-mile route to avoid going through Williston. Photo by Mary Pettersen
  • Mary and Mark Pettersen are pictured with the schoolhouse in October 2012 after it was moved to its new foundation northwest of Williston, N.D. The Forest Lake, Minn., couple moved to Williston three years ago to expand their business, Coates RV. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • Renovations on the Twin Butte schoolhouse, pictured Jan. 11, 2014, took about one year. The building on the left is a newly constructed barn that has guest quarters on the upper level and space for a man cave on the main level. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • The interior of the schoolhouse is pictured during construction on April 1, 2012. Photo by Mary Pettersen
  • The interior is pictured, with the couple's dog Max, in January. Interior walls of the restored schoolhouse were not changed other than to create this window opening to the small kitchen, which is where students used to hang their coats. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • Mary and Mark Pettersen and their dog, Max, pose in the renovated schoolhouse on Jan. 11, 2014, near Williston, N.D. One wall features a Murphy bed and custom cabinets. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • A piece of the schoolhouse's original chalkboard that was found in the weeds outside the abandoned building is displayed on the coffee table. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • A guest room in the walk-out basement of the restored schoolhouse features antique furniture. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service
  • The Scandia Lutheran Church near Grenora, N.D., will be the next building the Pettersens move and restore if they can get additional land. Photo by Mary Pettersen