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The Pioneer School-The Oldest School in Minnesota

Updated on September 6, 2017
The Pioneer School
The Pioneer School | Source

Taylor Falls, Minnesota --Its Oldest School

The Pioneer School, located in Taylor Falls, Minnesota, was built in 1852 and is the oldest school in Minnesota. Originally, it was called The Town House School. They still hold summer school classes there for the children to learn about life in the 1800’s even today. The children attending wear early period clothing to feel more in touch with their early ancestors. They also play games of the early school period and learn some of the things that these children that used to attend the school there in the late 1800’s learned.

Summer School Classes

When my daughter was young, she attended the wonderful pioneer summer school program. She dressed in pioneer clothing and brought her sack lunch each day. The students had a wonderful older teacher—one that actually taught in the Pioneer school for many years. The children had an opportunity to learn a little more about early education in pioneer days and enjoyed playing games long lost to school children today.

History of The Town House School

The Town House school is now owned by the Taylor Falls Historical Society. In 1852 it was built by local school funds and private donations for about $1,400.00. It was used as a town hall and a one-room school house. It was originally located on the east side of Government street in Taylor Falls and later, in 1902, moved across the street. In an old photo, taken in 1865, it shows the school with a flagstaff on the roof (which looks home-made) with a flag flying at half mast—to honor the President, Abraham Lincoln-- who had recently been assassinated at that time.

My Painting of The Pioneer School Classroom

When my daughter attended the summer session years ago, I took pictures of the inside of the school with her fellow classmates. You can still see today the old school desks and the pot-belly stove that was used to heat the school. Since I am an artist, I decided to paint a picture of the classroom at that time. I added pictures in the background of some of the original students that attended the school that I found in old photos—they look as though they are watching the new students in the room to see if they are paying attention.


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