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National Register recognition sought for Highlandville School

The Decorah Journal of Decorah, Iowa

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The Winneshiek County His toric Preservation Commission is pursuing a listing on the National Register of Historic Places for the Highlandville School.

The Commission's efforts were endorsed by the Winneshiek Coun ty Board of Supervisors Monday.

"It reflects the history of education in Winneshiek County, which actually has some of the best pre served schoolhouses in the state and probably the country," Commission member Dave Stanley told the supervisors.

The Highlandville School also is unique because it is a "village structure," not a school isolated in the countryside, he said.

Constructed in 1911, the school closed its doors in 1964. The High landville School is located on the north bank of South Bear Creek, a stream that cuts through the unincorporated village of Highlandville.

"The Highlandville School is locally eligible for the National Register under Criterion C because it serves as an exceptional example of rural schoolhouse architecture, particularly two-room schoolhouses, which are noticeably less common than one-room schools in Winneshiek County," the school's National Register nomination states.

"Most Winneshiek County rural schools do not have a belfry or two-door entries. The Highlandville School has both of these features, making it an oddity among Winne shiek County schools. With nearly all of the original architectural elements remaining, this building can certainly offer important information concerning rural schoolhouse design."

There are currently no known plans to alter the property. It remains in the care of the Highland

Township Trustees and will likely continue as a community center and a location for musical events and dancing, according to the nomination.

While most schools in rural Winneshiek County were one-room schoolhouses with mixed grades, the Highlandville School was one of the few schools that had graded classrooms. The school closed in 1964 due to school consolidation.

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Original Publication Date: September 26, 2013

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