moen schoolhouse

 
 

Moen School was first held in Jacob Storrusten’s home for three weeks in the fall of 1885. Mary A. Corneliusen was the first teacher and had 6 pupils: Anna Anderson, Jimmie Anderson, Julia Anderson, Hilga K. Berglund, Toff E. Kjolhauf and Olaf Shenna. The children finished a two-month term in the spring in a new log schoolhouse that was built.

In 1907 Bernt Lorentson had the contract to build what is now the present schoolhouse on a corner of the land owned by Oscar Moen in Section 26 of Rosebud Township.

Oscar’s sister, Ida Moen was one of the early teachers at Moen School. Lillian Affeldt was the last teacher when the school closed in the spring of 1958. Her salary that last year was $228 per month. Moen School dissolved and joined the Fosston School District on November 30, 1958.

The school was sold to Rosebud Township for $1 and was used for town meetings at its original site until 2010. At the annual March meeting in 2010, the Rosebud Township board voted to donate the schoolhouse to the East Polk Heritage Center in Fosston. The building was moved to the Heritage Center grounds on July 9, 2010.

Restorations have included the installation of a natural gas furnace, insulation to the attic, new shingles, and recent exterior painting. In 2017, the schoolroom was furnished with desks and other early school days memorabilia to provide visitors with historic school house experience.

Fundraising efforts to provide funds for building maintenance have included the sale of engraved bricks. In 2016, metal display stands were installed in front of the building. The bricks give the names of students who attended a country school and also that of donors who desire to support the country school history of our area. A form is available for anyone wishing to purchase a brick.

Also, a book published by the East Polk Heritage Center, “Country School Memories of East Polk County” was written and edited by Judy Newton, EPHC board member who served from 2005-2015. The memories and details of each country school provide a wonderful insight to country school days. The books are for sale at the Heritage Center.

The Rosebud Town meetings continue to be held in the Moen School building (six months of the year). Third grade students from Magelssen Elementary visit the school each fall and are hosted by former country school teacher and EPHC Charter member, Carol Wold. The school has also been rented for private meetings/events.