Close
About the Ruins of the Old School in Hext, Oklahoma (with Video)

About the Ruins of the Old School in Hext, Oklahoma (with Video)

Fine Art Photographer Keith Dotson brings us along as he makes photographs of an abandoned and recently burned brick school at Hext, in western Oklahoma

Thousands of people drive past this old school every day, but how many actually notice it?

The ruins of a red brick building can be seen from the west bound lane of Interstate 40 in the middle of nowhere –actually at a community called Hext — near Erick, Oklahoma. Scroll down for a brief history of the old school.

This screen shot from Google maps shows the vicinity of Hext, Oklahoma, very near the Texas Panhandle.

Video: Join photographer Keith Dotson on location at the ruins of the old school in Hext, Oklahoma

Making black and white photographs of the ruins at Hext, Oklahoma

Quick facts

  • Hext School built by WPA in 1930s
  • Probably closed in the 1960s
  • Stood vacant with furniture inside until April 2021, when it burned
  • Hext had a post office in 1901 – 1902
  • Was aligned to Route 66 in 1929
  • Was on the last stretch of Route 66 to lost its interstate designation

History of the Hext School

The ruins of the red brick school stand amidst a cluster of trees between Interstate 40 and the old Route 66, which opened through here in 1929, and was decommissioned in 1975. The site is on the corner of Bank 15 and East 1220 Road, surrounded by farmland in all directions.

Hext is basically a ghost town, if you could ever even have called it a town. It had a post office from 1901-1902. The community was named after a local farmer.

The school was built in the 1930s by the WPA. It probably closed in the 1960s and stood abandoned here for all those years, with even some furniture inside.

The old school burned in April, 2021, and the fire was tackled by firefighters from nearby Erick, Oklahoma. What we see here is what’s left after that fire.

In the video you can see a low stone wall in front of the school. On the left entry was once a WPA placard that’s since gone missing — presumably it’s been stolen. (See the empty spot for the placard at around 1:50 in the video)

The WPA was the Works Progress Administration, a federal government program, created as part of the New Deal, that put the unemployed to work during the Great Depression, building things to benefit the nation. A lot of their projects still serve the country today. Workers employed by the WPA built schools, dams, roads, bridges, and used the skills of artists to make murals.

Black and white photographs of the ruins in Hext, Oklahoma

Black and white photograph of the ruined old school in Hext, Oklahoma. It was built in the 1930s by the WPA, and burned in April, 2021.
Black and white photograph of the ruined old school in Hext, Oklahoma. It was built in the 1930s by the WPA, and burned in April, 2021. Photo copyright Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print.
Black and white photograph of the abandoned 1930s school in Hext, Oklahoma. Photo copyright Keith Dotson.
Black and white photograph of the abandoned 1930s school in Hext, Oklahoma. Photo copyright Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print.
Black and white photograph of the abandoned 1930s school in Hext, Oklahoma. Photo copyright Keith Dotson.
Black and white photograph of the abandoned 1930s school in Hext, Oklahoma. Photo copyright Keith Dotson.
Blackened trees seen through the open window of the old Hext School in Oklahoma. Built in the 1930 and long abandoned, it was consumed by fire in April 2021.
Blackened trees seen through the open window of the old Hext School in Oklahoma. Built in the 1930 and long abandoned, it was consumed by fire in April 2021.

Thanks for reading

Be sure to visit me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest, or on my website at keithdotson.com.

~ Keith

Leave a Reply

Close