A little bit of history . . .
The town of Alkabo, North Dakota was born in 1913 when the Soo Line Railway extended their lines westward into Montana. People moved into the newly plotted town, businesses were established and a small rural school was moved into town.
With population on the rise, a larger school with two classrooms and a full basement was built. It opened on September 4, 1916 and remained the centre of community activities until October 31, 1932 when it burned down.
For the next two years school classes were held in a converted newspaper building. Neighbouring schools loaned books and different organizations held fundraisers while the school board, once again, dealt with the building of a new school.
The building was completed in time for the school term beginning in September of 1934. It boasted one of the best gymnasiums in the county, complete with a permanent stage, three classrooms and two bathrooms. For the next thirty years it served as the centre of the community.
But by the early 1960's the population had declined considerably and it soon became evident that the age of the country school was nearing an end. The last high school class graduated in 1962 and the grade school was closed the following year.
I visited the school fifty-five years after the last bell had rung for class. It was sporting a fresh coat of paint, the grounds were neat and tidy and the interior was much as it would have been when it was originally built. It was instantly apparent that the school wasn't simply maintained, it was loved. Kudos to everyone who has helped preserve this piece of history. It is a job well done.
I was luck enough to meet one of the long-time volunteers during my short visit. He had lived there all his life and I could see the pride on his face when he spoke about the school. Much of the information for this post was his "word-of-mouth" memories with the remainder gleaned from a short written history of the area that was posted inside the school.Thank you.
If you are ever in the area, Alkabo School is well worth a look. Have a picnic, ring the bell, experience the memories . . . and don't forget to sign the guestbook.