Auto Tour Stop 8



STOP 8: SCHOOLHOUSE

If you have ever backpacked into a wilderness area or canoed into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, you have experienced the need to be self reliant in order to insure your safety. In your case, you knew that self reliance, while daunting, would be of short duration and rescue was never too far away. Imagine the feeling of desolation that faced the early settlers as they experienced a total self reliance in this undeveloped wilderness.

The first order of business for a pioneer to a new life was to construct shelter for family, farm animals, and implements. Next were the tasks of clearing land for the next spring’s planting season, and securing winter feed for animals. Once a family’s survival was more secure, pioneers usually erected a place of worship and a one room grammar schoolhouse. In front of you is the foundation of this community’s schoolhouse. In the earliest aerial photos of the area, the schoolhouse can be seen with an earthen firebreak around it. Fire had to be a serious concern for early settlers just as it had been for Native Americans before them.

Crop failure caused this area to be abandoned after only a few years. It is likely that religious services were still being conducted in one of the private residences as no church site has been located.