Nome, ND

Once upon a time, in the year 1916, the foundation was laid for what would become the beloved Nome Schoolhouse. This historical gem began its journey as a beacon of education and community in North Dakota. Over the years, it witnessed countless young minds eager to learn, dedicated teachers, and supportive parents who walked through its halls, leaving behind a trail of cherished memories.

In 1949, recognizing the need to cater to the students’ holistic development, the school underwent a transformation and added a gymnasium to its infrastructure. This addition provided a space for sports, physical activities, and social gatherings, fostering a sense of camaraderie among the students and faculty.

However, as the winds of change blew across the rural landscape of North Dakota, the region experienced a decline in its population. The impact was felt even within the walls of the Nome Schoolhouse, as enrollment began to dwindle rapidly. Despite the community’s best efforts, in 1966, the high school had to make the heart-wrenching decision to close its doors, followed by the elementary school in 1970.

But hope was not entirely lost for the students. The Nome Schoolhouse ensured a continuation of learning adventures for its pupils by arranging for them to attend nearby schools in Fingal, Enderlin, and Kathryn.

Subsequently, the school building found itself repurposed, serving as a storage facility under different owners for many years. The echoes of laughter and learning seemed to have faded away, leaving the building to witness the passage of time.

Then, in 1972, the school district dissolved, leaving the future of the historic building uncertain. But in 2018, fate intervened in the form of Teresa and Chris from Shepherd Industries, LLC, who recognized the historical and cultural significance of the Nome Schoolhouse. With an unwavering vision and dedication, they set out on a remarkable journey to restore the school to its former glory.

Over the course of three years, the duo poured their hearts and souls into the meticulous restoration of the school, preserving its rich heritage while infusing it with new life. In the year 2021, their tireless efforts bore fruit, as the Nome Schoolhouse was transformed into a unique and vibrant Fiber Arts Retreat Center, Event Center, and Boutique Hotel.

Now, this cherished landmark stands as a testament to the resilience of the community and the power of preservation. Visitors from near and far are invited to pack their bags, step into history, and create new memories at the Nome Schoolhouse. Whether partaking in the joy of fiber arts, attending special events, or simply basking in the charm of the boutique hotel, every guest becomes a part of the schoolhouse’s captivating narrative, continuing the legacy of learning and camaraderie for generations to come.

Your Hosts

Chris Armbrust & Teresa Perleberg

Let me tell you about the woolly wonderful world of Dakota Fiber Mill and Bear Creek Felting.

First up, we have the fabulous Chris Armbrust, founder of Dakota Fiber Mill. Since 2010, she’s been spinning yarn and roving from all sorts of furry friends – sheep, alpaca, goat, camel, bison, you name it! But Chris didn’t stop there – she teamed up with four engineering students from NDSU and brought a felting machine to the mill in 2017. Now, all those pesky waste and short fibers are felted into a whole bunch of products. And let’s not forget about Dakota Spun – Chris’ very own line of yarn.

Next up, we have the talented Teresa Perleberg, founder of Bear Creek Felting. Since 2008, she’s been crafting 3D needle felted sculptures using the wool from her own flock of sheep. But Teresa doesn’t keep all the fun to herself – she’s also created DIY Needle Felting Kits complete with instructions and materials, as well as an online Needle Felting Academy for all you wool enthusiasts out there. And let’s not forget about the Bear Creek wool felting cushion, the result of a collaboration with Chris of Dakota Fiber Mill – the perfect work-surface for all your needle felting needs.

Now, get ready for some exciting news – Chris and Teresa have joined forces to create Shepherd Industries, LLC! In 2018, they bought the abandoned Nome Schoolhouse and spent 3 years turning it into a one-stop-shop for all things wool. Not only do they have their businesses and a retail store showcasing their products, but they also have fiber animals on site, classrooms for makers, and even a boutique hotel with an in-house chef. And if that’s not enough, they have an Event Center for all your big shindigs.

Last but not least, we have the Nome Eweniversity Non-Profit. They’re all about providing a rural, inclusive, farm-to-needle experience that inspires future makers, artists, and growers. And where better to do that than right in the heart of Shepherd Industries at the Nome Schoolhouse?

So there you have it, folks – the woolly wonderful world of Shepherd Industries, where the sheep are fluffy, the yarn is cozy, and the fun never stops. Follow their adventure on Facebook and EweTube – ewe won’t regret it!




In the News


WDAY – 2022 by Kevin Wallevand

Abandoned 100-year-old schoolhouse has been brought back to life

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has honored three projects nationwide and the restored and preserved Nome Schoolhouse in Barnes County has been given a huge honor.

‘We knew this day would come’: 115-year-old Nome Schoolhouse reopens

The 115-year-old Nome schoolhouse is reopening after a 3-year project to restore the rundown building, spearheaded by Chris Armbrust and Teresa Perleberg.

By Kevin Wallevand July 01, 2021