Historic Kage School Comes Back to Life



Built in 1880 and closed in 1966, the historic Kage (pron. cogee) School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, will come back to life on May 6, 2015, as the Historic Kage School Guest Cottage.

After a year of remodeling and restoration, Rick Hetzel & Cheryl Mothes, owners of the Kage School, will once again open the doors as a two bedroom, fully furnished Guest Cottage for visitors to the Cape Girardeau area.

To commemorate the event, an opening ceremony is planned at 6:30 am, Wednesday May 6, 2015 to raise the American flag over the school to mark the re-opening of the historic building. Using the original school flag pole, the new flag to fly over the Kage School was also raised over the American Compound in Afghanistan during the combat tour of Hetzel’s son-in-law, USAF Major Joe Lopez, a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University’s ROTC Program. Boy Scout Davis Deimund, Grandson of Mr. Keith Deimund, who sold the property to Hetzel and attended the Kage School as a child, will raise the flag.

According to Hetzel, the rehabilitation of the one room school house required extensive interior and exterior repairs due to the termite and water damage over the past 50 years. “We tried to save many of the original school artifacts and were successful in keeping the original pine hardwood floors, the school lights, many pieces of school furniture and fixtures, and hundreds of school books. According to Hetzel, the “check out cards” found in the back of many of the old books display the names of Kage School students from the early 1900’s to the 1960’s. Hetzel plans to have an open house at the Guest Cottage on Sunday afternoon of May 10, 2015, where the public will be able to tour the guest cottage and view many of the books and artifacts. Some of the old school books and artifacts from the historic school will also be available to purchase with all proceeds going to the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation.

“We also kept several unique pieces of the school’s history which we encountered during the remodeling process”, said Hetzel. These and many of the textbooks will be displayed inside the cottage for visitors to see along with a pictorial journal of the school’s renovation.

Of the historic finds, contractors recovered a wooden top plate to one of the original center beams, which had been inscribed in pencil “1880 – C & S.” Hetzel noted the building was constructed in 1880 by two builders, P.A. Smith & H.L. Cofer. “When we found this piece, we visualized these guys, like artists, taking the time to add their marks to this top plate; probably never imagining someone would find it 135 years later.”

The Historic Kage School Guest Cottage will be available for short term and long term reservations and for special events. Information may be obtained at or by calling R.Hetzel Properties at 800-270-7198.

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