Happy Birthday Little Red Schoolhouse #59!
It will be a Happy Birthday for the District #59 Schoolhouse in Litchfield, Minnesota! Built in 1913, the little red school will be getting a make-over this year thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers called Little Red Schoolhouse 59, Inc., who are determined to save a little bit of history.
The District # 59 was built on one acre of land six miles south of Litchfield on land donated by Edward and Louise Wiard in 1885. The construction design is classic revival, red brick exterior, hip roof, eight Doric columns at a front entryway, and a clapboard bell tower. The interior consists of a spacious entry leading to one large classroom, a small library, a cloakroom, storage and basement. In 1913, it was constructed for $3,500. Having served the community for over 50 years as a school, it was closed in Meeker County in 1968, as part of a rural consolidation project.
The little building took on a second life as a town hall when it was sold to Greenleaf Township and used until 2007 for town business. It is interesting to note that the school is only one of two schools in Meeker County to retain its original structure.
LRS 59 has received generous support from Meeker Cooperative Light & Power of Litchfield, Soutwest Initiative, and Valspar Corporation. These grants enabled the group to undertake immediate repairs, including lead paint removal and electrical upgrades. A handicap ramp was also installed.
The LRS 59 $25 household membership continues to grow, with a community support system that has offered craft and bake sales, a "Revisit Country School" program, and the annual July picnic and meeting.
WE are always seeking help to finish our schoolhouse!
Here is a chance to save one more American icon. For more information or to lend support, please visit our website at:
Thanks to Jan Ehrlich of Hopkins, MN for submitting this story!