Rural school back in session in Pine City

Pine City's rural schoolhouse was brought to its current location in 1971.

The One-Room School Museum of Pine City is again hosting area school children for one week sessions where they get to share in the rural school experience.

Dorothy Pixley and Erna Pangerl, members of the schoolhouse committee of the Pine City Area History Association, explained that the school house was moved to its current location on Aug. 4, 1971. The rural one room schoolhouses had been used in the area until 1967. Students would transfer to an area high school at the end of their eight years.

Pangerl and Pixley both attended rural school. Pixley remembers attending this very schoolhouse when it was at its former location east of Pine City and Cross Lake. Pixley came from a family of 11 children. In the 1936 picture of students of the school Pixley had several siblings, though she was still too young to attend at that time.

The idea to host a summer session at the schoolhouse began in the 1980s. Pixley remembered that the superintendent of Pine City Public Schools was a former rural schoolhouse teacher. In the early years some of the summer teachers had also taught at rural schools.

Currently Felicia Madsen, a teacher in Pine City, teaches the rural school summer session. The students are asked to wear traditional clothes and avoid bringing prepackaged lunch items. They do many projects in addition to “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic.” They sit in desks and begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a song. They learn about food, games and life from when the rural schools were in session. But Pixley said, “It is nothing like when we went to school. We didn’t do the projects.”

Pangerl added, “Oh no, it was all business all the time. But ... it is a nice thing to remember the old days when we were in school.”

Pixley said she always enjoys coming and seeing what the children are wearing.

Annie Annie Over, where the students throw a ball back and forth over the school’s roof, is the most popular game at recess.

For the second session, held July 23-27, a special guest will come and teach about sheep and wool.

The school house is open every Sunday from June-August from 12-3 p.m. and by appointment at other times. To schedule an appointment call 320-629-3285.

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