Wisconsin’s Old-Time Schoolhouses

Frey School

The Frey School in Roxbury, Dane County, was built circa 1870. Its formal designation was Town of Roxbury District Nr 2 School.

It was built with locally-quarried sandstone. Agidus and Anna Frey, two Bavarian immigrants, donated the land for the wooden school that preceded this one. The town’s population had grown to the point where the wooden school had to be replaced,


Five other one-room schools in the town also had to be replaced; that exercise proceeded over the next ten years. Each of these schools was also accomplished using sandstone.


The Frey School has been added to the State Register of Historic Places. It is in perfect shape. The Wisconsin Historical Society tells us,


“Like most one-room schoolhouses, the exterior of the Frey School is simple in design and its most outstanding feature, besides its stone walls, is its pointed arch entrance door, the opening of which has paneled sides. 

Photo of interior courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society

“The interior consists of a narrow vestibule where coats were kept and this room opens into the classroom proper; both spaces share a plastered cove ceiling and plastered walls. Like other schools of the day, the Frey School did not have indoor plumbing and it was heated by a wood stove. Members of the Frey family supplied wood and water for drinking while the school was in operation and the building had to wait until well into the twentieth century before it was electrified.”