Nome, ND

Alright, hold on to your backpacks and let me tell you a story about the Nome Schoolhouse! It all began way back in 1916 when this little gem was first built. Fast forward to 1949, and BAM! The school decided it needed some muscles and added a gym. Countless kids, teachers, and parents walked through these halls, creating memories that will last a lifetime. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and the rural population decline hit North Dakota hard, causing enrollment to shrink faster than a wool sweater in the dryer. So in 1966, the high school closed its doors, followed by the elementary school in 1970. But don’t worry, the pupils were shipped off to Fingal, Enderlin, and Kathryn schools for continued learning adventures. The school building was sold and used for storage, but that wasn’t the end of the story! In 1972, the school district dissolved, and after several owners and many years, Teresa and Chris from Shepherd Industries, LLC swooped in to save the day in 2018. With a mighty three-year restoration, they transformed the school into a Fiber Arts Retreat Center/Event Center/Boutique Hotel in 2021. So pack your bags and get ready to make some new memories at the Nome Schoolhouse!

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