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Photo of children from St Benedict's Mission School, 1916
Children from St Benedict's Mission School knit for the Red Cross during World War I, 1916

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Remembering the Little Red Schoolhouse
A Local Legacy

Can you imagine going to a school that has only one room and where all the kids, no matter how old, are in the same class? That was the situation in many schools across the country, especially in rural (country) communities.

Becker County, a rural farm community in Minnesota, decided to get together and create a historical record of the one-room schoolhouse experience. The citizens included photographs of old school buildings, interiors, and students. They also found antique school texts, teaching materials and state examinations for the teaching certificate, a teacher's bell and an old-fashioned lunch pail -- all from the first half of the 20th century. Together these materials preserve a nearly vanished educational experience.

Today, only a single one-room schoolhouse remains in Minnesota, in Northwest Angle, at the northernmost tip of the state and one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states. The Angle School has about a dozen students, and children often arrive by boat from nearby and not so nearby islands. During the winter, some students travel daily to school on a snowmobile. Would you like to go to a one-room school?

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