I thought that this was a good time to trace the Mound schools from the beginning to today.

In the beginning, there were various small schools throughout the Minnetrista area.

District 83 was known as the Jackson School in the northeast and District 84 was known as the Lee School in the northwest.

In addition, there were three more school districts in the western and southern parts of the township.

In March of 1860, seven years before Laura Ingalls Wilder was born, Mound built its first schoolhouse.

Frank Halstead presented a petition that was accepted by the county commissioners and School District 85 was underway.

It was to be called the Mound City School.

District 85's first schoolhouse was a small log structure about 14 feet by 18 feet, and it was built on the east side of what is Commerce Boulevard.

In 1860 that area is where the town of Mound City was located and the area was called "Busy Corners."

The log schoolhouse was used until 1872, when it was replaced by a red frame building that was located in the area where the Mound Medical Center strip mall is today.

When fire destroyed the red frame schoolhouse in 1884, it was replaced by a new 24 foot by 40 foot white schoolhouse that was built on the same property.

Then in 1894 it was remodeled into a two-room schoolhouse, which was used until 1908.

In 1907 the white schoolhouse was sold to a Mr. Hans Bjerke, who rented it back to the school district for one year while a new four-room red brick school house was built.

The new red brick schoolhouse was built in roughly the same area and when the enrollment outgrew the school in 1917, it was rented to different businesses.

In 1948 it was sold to a new company that was just starting up in town, Tonka Toys.

The white schoolhouse was no longer needed and it was sold by Bjerke to a Catholic church.

They moved it to the church's property, which was where the Netka Apartments are today.

It was used as the Catholic church until 1923, when the church built a new building on that same site. The church held services there until it built the present day Catholic church across the street in 1965.

Once the new Catholic church was built in 1923, the little white school was moved one more time.

This time it got moved about a half block to the south and became part of a garage at the Krause home.

The Krause home is still there today but the white schoolhouse that also was used as a Catholic church and a garage is no longer around.

Because of the increased enrollment in the school district in 1916 and 1917, a new school was built across the street from the red brick school on the site where Carbone's Pizza and Caribou Coffee are today.

This school housed grades K-12 for many years. It experienced a lot of remodeling and a lot of additions and at least one major fire over the years.

In the early 1950s the school started to overfill its capacity.

The district started expanding with more school buildings in the community and kept this building for the high school.

Mound High School used this building up until 1975, when it was abandoned for the present high school that is located at 5905 Sunnyfield Road in Minnetrista.

The building was then rented out to many different businesses until it was demolished in 2002 to make room for the new Market Place Shopping Center.

I mentioned that the district expanded by building other school buildings in the community.

In 1951 Shirley Hills Elementary School was built at 2450 Wilshire Blvd., across the street from where the new complex that houses the Mound Fire Department and the Mound Police Department are today.

Shirley Hills got its name from the person who was plotting the property in its conversion from a golf course to building sites.

John Henry Skarp named the area Shirley Hills after his daughter Shirley Skarp Armstrong.

In 1959 Grandview Junior High School opened its doors at 1881 Commerce Blvd. and it was dedicated on Nov. 15 of that year. Today this school is called Grandview Middle School.

In 1964, Hilltop Elementary School, located at 5700 Game Farm Road, opened its doors to students. Today this school is called Hilltop Primary School.

Back in 1860 the Mound school had one staff member and between six and eight students.

Today there is a staff of about 130, with 2,242 students.

It all began in the 1860-1861 school year with Mound's first teacher Miss Celia Sturman.

The only changes besides many different buildings and the addition of more staff and students is the changing of the district from No. 85 in the beginning to No. 277 in 1957 and the changing of the name of the schools mascot in 1997 from the Mound Mohawks to the Mound Westonka Whitehawks.

The writer is a member of the Historical Society. To make comments about this series, call 952-938-0901.

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