Every time Beverly Goss goes home, she goes back to school.

She lives in the former Mount Hope School in Pequea Township with her husband, Ken. This one-room schoolhouse taught children starting in 1879, including Beverly and her father. Over the past 50 years, the Gosses made changes large and small to make the one-room building a home fit for a family of four.

They’re proud of the history of the schoolhouse, one of two in Lancaster County with the same name. Through the years, they filled books with deeds, class photos, Beverly’s own report cards and letters from former teachers.

The history of their home is so important, it will be part of their last resting spot on Earth.

“We put a picture of that on our tombstone. The schoolhouse,” Beverly says, pointing at a black-and-white photo.

“The schoolhouse is such a part of our life,” Ken says.

The Gosses moved into their home in 1971. By that time, the building had been a home for more than a decade.

The first change they made was removing a wall separating the kitchen and the living room. That opened up the space and gave more room for a big table, especially helpful for big meals.

It took them years to find the right team to help them expand the living space into the area above the first floor. There was room. When the building went from a school to a home, a drop ceiling was added in the living space and a crawl space was nestled above.

Making that change was complicated. Their teenage sons were sharing a small bedroom and wanted their own spaces. However, carpenters needed to raise the beams supporting the roof.

Once that was done, they added two bedrooms and a bathroom. Skylights bring more light into the upstairs rooms. Ken built custom shelves in each room for Stephen and for Mark, who died in a skiing accident in 1999.

“It gave us much more space,” says Beverly, 76.

In the upstairs bathroom, the shower’s tucked into a slope of the roof. To fit the space, the shower curtain sits at an angle.

“We probably should have had special-made glass to fit,” says Ken, 77. “It works.”

The Gosses created more space in the basement by adding a rec room in a space that had been a garage. Ken handled this project, from the walls to the drywall and paneling, with the help of a Reader’s Digest do-it-yourself book.

He used repurposed wood from a friend to camouflage supports.

With brick from a home demolition, he built a fireplace and added a propane stove.

It’s a space to exercise, relax and to refinish furniture or make a new creation. Lately, Ken’s made tobacco lath trees. He’s retired from a career in social services. Beverly’s a retired teacher, last teaching in Lampeter-Strasburg schools.

The lessons at this school didn’t stop when the school moved. In the 50 years they’ve lived in the schoolhouse, the Gosses learned a lot about their home. Visitors stop to take photos and share their memories as teachers and students.

“I always invite them in, and they’re thrilled to see the place where they went to school,” Beverly says.

Mount Hope School opened in 1879 and taught children in grades one through eight.

Beverly fondly recalls playing under the porch with friends during recess.

“We played house in there. And we actually brought a piece of material from home and made a curtain,” she says.

At school, the youngest students sat in the front and the oldest sat in the back. Beverly and Ken have a vintage desk similar to the ones she used in the 1950s. On top are Dick and Jane books that were part of the curriculum.

“I remember listening to the other students’ classes and learning things just by listening to the higher grades,” she says. “It was a multi-age classroom and the younger students learned by listening to their lessons. That was multi-age learning before that term was popular in education.

“I loved listening to their math, history and geography classes.”

Beverly has books filled with her report cards. The subjects like penmanship and word recitation hint at the time period. She also has a 1927 class photo with her father, John H. Hess, and her uncle Robert M. Hess.

She attended school here through the middle of third grade.

The end of the schoolhouse came with the school district consolidation of the 1950s. When Pequea Elementary was finished in 1953, students at the Mount Hope School went their separate ways: some to Pequea and some to Providence Elementary School in Solanco School District.

After the school closed, the neighboring family of farmers, the Harnishes, purchased the property and remodeled it into a home.

Beverly’s parents, who lived in the neighborhood, bought the property in 1966. They considered retiring there but rented it for a few years before Beverly, Ken and their oldest son, Stephen, moved there in 1971. They later bought the house.

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