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On the Porch

Although a school, supported by subscription, had been conducted in what would become Lyon County as early as 1869, school districts were not organized until 1871. The first school district of Lyon County was established by the board of county commissioners on March 18, 1871. At the meeting, G.W. Whitney was appointed superintendent of common schools for Lyon County.

In the fall of 1873 the first schoolhouse in Lyon County was built in Lower Lynd at the cost of $700 and belonged to District No. 1. The school was located on a rise about a quarter mile west of the Kiel and Morgan Hotel Historic Site on the north side of the road. The Camden School District No. 14 was located just to the right of the old entrance gate to Camden State Park. The school was built into the hill in 1874.

In 1905, the Lynd School District No. 1 and the Camden School District No. 14 became the first consolidated school district in Minnesota. The two single-room schools were combined into a single two-room schoolhouse in Lynd on the site of the present Lynd Public school building. In 1908, a second story was added. A fire destroyed the frame building in 1922. In 1923, a brick building was erected, which is now the older part of the present school.

In Lyon County there were approximately 87 schools scattered at not more than a distance of 2 miles apart from each other. The buildings were placed close together because a state law read that children were not allowed to walk more than 2 miles to school. School consolidation in the mid-20th Century closed the common schools in the county. The school buildings and contents were often sold at auctions. Many of the school buildings were either destroyed or moved. Today, a few of the schoolhouses in Lyon County still exist.

The photograph featured this week from the Lyon County Museum’s collection was taken in Lynd after the second story was added to the Lynd School in 1908.

The Lyon County Historical Society is planning an escape the schoolhouse fundraiser at the District No. 80 Westerheim Township schoolhouse located at the Lyon County Fairgrounds on October 8 and October 15. Funds raised will support building maintenance for the schoolhouse and interpretive signage. About the event: Gather family and friends for a team (max. 6 people) and enjoy an escape room challenge in a one room schoolhouse! Your team will discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks to solve the schoolhouse mystery in a limited amount of time. To reserve your time slot, please call the Lyon County Museum at (507) 537-6580. Time slots are on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is $25 per team or $20 per team for LCHS members.

The Lyon County Historical Society (LCHS) is a non-profit, member-supported organization. LCHS operates the Lyon County Museum at 301 W Lyon St in Marshall. The Lyon County Museum is open to visitors. To contact us, visit our website: www.lyoncomuseum.org, call: 507-537-6580, email: director@lyoncomuseum.org, or on our Facebook page.

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