That's because the building, which was constructed in 1888, has been added to the National Register of Historical Places, according to an announcement by the Tennessee Historical Commission. Seven sites in the Volunteer State have been added to the registry.
Although the building stopped operating as the Raus School in 1954, it continues to serve as a vital part of the Raus area today, along with some churches, said Carol Roberts, a self-described community historian who helped prepare the extensive documentation to apply for the historic status.
The building serves as a community center and a meeting place for the Community Improvement Center (CIC), an organization that works on cemetery maintenance and supports other organizations like the 4-H. The building previously served as a voting district and as a meeting place for the Raus Women's Group.
"It is a piece of land that has from the earliest records been set aside for meeting houses," she said.
The property qualified for historic status because it still has original construction details from the 1880s, such as the exterior clapboard siding, windows and interior walls, Roberts said.
According to paperwork filed with the National Register, the building is a "one-story frame weatherboard clad school with a T-plan, gable roof, multi-pane windows and a stone pier foundation."
The building is one of the few remaining schoolhouses of its type in Middle Tennessee, the paperwork states.
CIC Treasurer Jeanne Park Hix said that community support has been crucial in keeping the building open all these years.
"A lot of the other communities that had similar buildings and schools, they have been let go," Hix said. "The residents here have seemed to care about it and keep it up. It's what you first see when you get into our community."
Building maintenance is indeed a concern for the property, Roberts, also a member of the CIC, said. Community volunteers hope that the National Register status will help the CIC obtain grant monies to help with maintenance. Painting the clapboard siding is one of the most pressing needs, she said.
"We want to maintain it, but painting has become a rather expensive project," Roberts said.
According to the Tennessee Historic Commission, the other sites that were added to the National Registry were:
* Franklin City Cemetery and Rest Haven Cemetery in Franklin, Williamson County. These two cemeteries represent the early settlement period of the city and its continuing growth up to the early 19th century.
* Fruitvale Historic District. The district includes two stores, a blacksmith shop, bunkhouse, two sheds, a barn, barbershop/office, crusher house and crop scale.
* Holston Avenue Neighborhood Historic District in Bristol. Bungalows and Colonial Revival styles predominate in this neighborhood.
* Leipers Fork Historic District (boundary increase). The Leipers Fork Historic District in Williamson County was listed in the National Register in 1998. The original district was residential, and this boundary increase added more commercial buildings and houses.
* Washington Miller House. The Greek Revival core of this house, outside Columbia in Maury County, was constructed in 1851. It is an architecturally important building that is distinguished by its two-story pedimented portico, among other features.