Upper Post of Fort Snelling: Post School

  • April 9, 2014

Prior to Minnesota becoming a state, most of a child’s educational needs were met by either their parents or a local priest/pastor who could devote time to teaching them. Once Fort Snelling was built in the early 1800s, the wives of the post commandant and officers took up the task of teaching the children that lived at the fort. The women focused on teaching the three Rs, polite manners, and a former member of Napoleon’s Army taught them French. The original one-room school house stood just inside the main entrance to the fort.

school 1905 sm

A growth spurt outside the walls of the historic fort offered an opportunity to build a new, larger school house that would be accessible to all of the children at the fort, as well as those living in the surrounding area. The new wood-frame school house was completed in 1880. It stood where the Telephone Exchange (building 66) is today — behind the Post Headquarters and just to the south of the Guardhouse. The 1,113 square-foot school had a coatroom attached to a large, 24’x36’ classroom where one teacher taught approximately sixty students. One wood-stove was commissioned to heat the entire school house. In 1908, a small bathroom was added — the outhouse they had been using for twenty-eight years was removed shortly after the indoor bathroom was completed. The school house was completely destroyed by a fire on January 22, 1930.

Fast Facts:
Commonly Known As: Post School
Building Number: C3
Year built: 1880
Destroyed: 1930
Last year of occupancy: 1930
Square footage: 1,113
Floors: 1

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