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Joliet School


The Joliet School was located in the Township of Stanley on the West side of the Red Cedar River. The structure was built in 1905. The Late Gus Benson sold 1 acre of his farm for the school site. In the early days there was no bridge to cross the river. Eventually a "hanging bridge" was constructed consisting of one or two planks wide with a rock pier in the middle of the river for support. The bridge was suspended four feet above the water, so the children from the east side of the river could cross over to the school.


The school was closed in 1962, and the building was given to the Barron County Historical Society. It was moved to the Barron County Game Farm (now the museum complex) in 1964 and has the distinction of being the first building to appear on the museum street site. Rural schools were built a few miles apart. The children walked to school and carried their noon lunch with them. Grades 1 through 8 attended each school, and normally one teacher instructed all eight grades.

The school included an enclosed stove oven so the children would not burn themselves. The school also had a small coat room for the children's clothing and food. Usually the room was split into a half for boys and a half for girls. Children attended the school from 1906-1962. Many of the pictures on the walls of the museum were of the presidents, especially President Washington. 


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