Monday, October 25, 2010

Abandoned Schoolhouse 1911 Louisburg, MN

OK, so I almost abandoned this blog itself -but a couple of new followers have inspired me to get my butt back in gear. I have a whole slew of new photos and locations taken this year that I'll try to publish soon. This post features one of the best abandoned building's I've come across to date, due equally to it's size and remote location. In April of this year we took a trip to Ortonville, Minnesota. It was fun to head straight west for a change and we saw some great sights along the way but we were totally unaware of the multitude of small (small) towns in this area. I swear we put on an extra 100 miles exploring flooded back-country roads and we didn't even get to some of the towns on the map. At some point we found ourselves in a town called Louisburg which boasted a population of 26 at the 2000 Census. This town is literally surrounded in all directions by miles and miles of farm fields. Upon entering the town on County Rd. 67 we were awestruck with this massive square, red brick Public School with tall windows and bell tower. We stopped right in our tracks to get out and take pics of this place. Despite many of it's windows being broken or boarded up, the brickwork itself was in great shape. The roof though tattered was still very much intact with even some ornamental woodwork at the peaks. As we walked along the also abandoned playground we could hear the inside full of cooing Pigeons -adding to the haunted feel of the place. Among the birds we heard unfamiliar, unrecognizable sounds that really freaked us out. At the front of the building was a cement portion with a date of 1911 which looked surprisingly new compared to the crumbling front steps. I got the idea that maybe the building had been maintained and well cared for sometime into the 1960's before finally being abandoned. That's just my guess so I'd love to hear from anyone familiar with this place!

16 comments:

  1. Hi there. I actually started a blog ( well, registered the URL) called abandonedminnesota.blogspot.com , with an idea much like yours about the kind of content I wanted to post. I'd love to talk to you about your blog, and looking for abandoned buildings in MN.

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  2. Wow - Louisburg, Minnesota. What a cool place. It's like a time-warp. The newest building in the town was built in the 30's. I have a friend who purchased a house there. Built around the same time as this school. He got it for a whopping $20,000. He uses it to "get back to his roots" and escape city life, traveling out there about once a week and staying a couple days to a couple weeks. This small, 2 street town has a lot of cool old houses. My friend's neighbor's house in particular. It's an amazing Victorian-era house. Sadly, it doesn't look to be kept up too well.

    I'd really like to know the history of Louisburg. It seems to have been established in the late 19th century. What their specialty was or what made the town is what I'd like to know. Louisburg is what Blaine, Minnesota (where I currently reside) looked like 60 years ago. Now, it's a crowded, busy suburb with little to no remnants of it's farming heritage remaining. I hope Louisburg stays just as it is.

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  3. I grew up right around Lousiburg with Grandparents that lived in town. We used to go the the school and play around there. There was an electric fence that held horses in that we used to play on seeing who would get the brunt of the shock. Louisburg used to be quite an active town when the Post Office was open and the cafe was open as well. We used to play at the baseball field with our friends. Lousiburg has always been a small town, but was much more active in the 90's with grandchildren or children in town.

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  4. I grew up in Louisburg, two houses down from the schoolhouse. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in. My grandparents lived just around the corner and ran the gas station until my grandpa passed away in 1975 and then my dad took it over. That building used to be the bank and is next to what was the Post Office which also doubled as a grocery store. It's a great little town and I loved every minute of living there. Of course I realize this more as I'm older.

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  5. Pretty amazing to see this, my Grandfather purchased this property back in the 1960's. He also owned and operated the equipment dealership down the street which is the other brick building that was built in the 20's. As kids this place was our playground, we had a house right in the front lawn. Sadly it is way to hard and expensive for us to maintain and it has as you say become abandoned. We still own it to this day. Grandpa used to keep and collect all sorts of items from family in the school house. It still stands very strong and besides the windows falling out is in pretty good condition. Great to see, Thanks.

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    1. Josh - My name is Jon and my family is also originally from the Louisburg/Bellingham area going back to the 1890's. My grandfather would hang out at the Louisburg cafe from the 1940's and up. We were just recently there this summer visiting the family farm. We stopped in Louisburg and I was taking some photos of the outside of the school (I love old buildings) and noticed all the cool stuff inside basically open to the weather (all the windows are gone). Would be interested in knowing if your family is interested in letting go of anything inside, before the building falls in on itself? Please contact me at dens85551@mypacks.net and perhaps we could talk more?

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    2. I so love Louisburg, I would go and spend time at my Grandparents in the summer. My Grandpa owned the Gas station in town and Grandma worked next store in the general store/post office. My Uncle took over the gas station when my Grandpa passed away. I remember going for rides in the Gas truck to the farms with my Grandpa and Uncle to add fuel to the tanks. I also remember the electric fence with the horses and the shock it would give us.. Getting candy from the cafe, staying in a tent in the Grandparents yard, Grandma would not sleep for the fear of one certain boy in town. lol
      Spent several years deer hunting with my Dad and his two brothers. I think my most precious memory is when I would walk with my Grandpa down to the gas station with my Uncles dog following behind. As Fink stated above about his parents, my Uncle and Aunt,still live in Louisburg and its my favorite place in the whole world to go. Thank you for the memories.

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    3. Josh,

      Would your family be willing to sell the school house? My mom's family was raised in western MN, I also love the small towns in western MN. I love architectual history and have resorted a turn of the century home.

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  6. My three Aunts lived in Louisburg for years. The Moen sisters

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  7. Yeah, I don't think you would want to live in Louisburg. That and it would probably take a few hundred thousand just to get that building livable again. It's a shame that the owners let the place go to h*ll, but I guess that's their business. At this rate, it won't be long before the roof collapses.

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  8. AnonymousJune 18, 2013

    I grew up in Louisburg, I went to that awesome school. Two rooms k-3 on east side, and 4-6 on the west side. Mabel Kjos was k-3 and Mrs. Dahl 4-6. We sat in rows according to grade. A table up front by the black board hosted our teacher and she would call us up when it was time for math, reading, etc. At lunch the teachers would leave and those of us from outside of town would eat our lunches together. We were supplied chocolate or white milk in glass containers with peel off top, fresh everyday. Recess was so much fun as the playground had swings, and so much more that has been torn down through through the years. The school was well before it's time compared to other country schools. The 2nd floor was never finished. The basement had a basketball area and play area for the winter months. The bathrooms were in the basement as well. In the winter, when we were allowed, we would build forts in the woods in the massive snow drifts that filled in. In spring we would hike through the woods and pick asparagus. Every fall, we would rake leaves and have a hugh get together with the whole town and roast weiners, have potluck and roast marshmellows. What a great and glorious life it was then. Pam T.

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    1. Patty
      WOW! I have been ready these posts, and am flooded with fond memories, of years gone by. I also went to school there, from kindegarten through 6th grade. There were always so many kids to play with growing up. Remember the school Christmas programs? Wonderful. Also the church's Christmas programs, and we always got a bag of treats. It had peanuts in the shell, hard candy, a chocolate drop and an apple, and we looked forward to it every year. Remember if we did something bad, by the time we got home, mom already knew about it. Every mother in town, took responsiblity for all us kids. It was great. We always knew when we had to be home. The noon whistle, 6:00 and the 9:00. I could go on and on and on....... Every time I think of Louisburg, I have a smile on my face and in my heart.

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    2. What a glorious little town. I grew up and was raised here, lived right next to the church. What an experience the 2 room country school was! We ice skated on the street and in the church lot, played ball in the church lot, swam in the slough and played foot ditchum at dark......but, when the siren blew at night, you better head for home. We gathered as a community and helped each other out. My Mother owned the general store and was the Postmaster in the post office that sat in the back of the store. We Christmas caroled and trick or treated. At one time, I was the smartest kid in my class......oh......I was the only kid in my class at one time...ha. We walked a mile to go sledding down Headless Hills and built snow forts throughout the woods......ah yes, those were the days. This little community is different now, but, it is still alive. The church at Christmas was always packed and I love going back there. I love you Louisburg, you sleepy little town.

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  9. I grew up in Louisburg in the 90s and on and previous comments are brining back memories with the horses behind the school with the electric fence, the swings and what not...birthday parties at the old baseball field, going with grandma to pick up her mail at the post office and sitting at the cafe. The town was filled with people born in the 30s and 40s, leaving just a few younger generations and city hunters in the town. And i'll always remember grandma saying to come home for supper at the 6 o'clock firehall whistle and then all the kids would call it a day. I'll be in rural louisburg for the rest of my life.

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  10. AnonymousJuly 01, 2014

    I moved up to Chippewa County in 2010. I have been through Louisburg twice since I moved here. I have paused a long time by this forgotten old school house and have thought about why someone has not been able to find a way to restore it and run an Art Gallery or Bed and Breakfast or museum from it, or all three for that matter. It is an area that attracts hunters, fishermen and other folks who, when they come are taken by the prairie, the lakes and the solitude. I was happy to find this blog and hope that you continue to educate us about wonderful old buildings that are just crying for someone to care about them again.... Thanks for the wonderful blog and the time you have taken to bring these old buildings to our attention.

    Pam E.

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  11. AnonymousJuly 01, 2014

    Thanks for keeping up the blog!

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