Wisconsin - Old Time Schoolhouses

Stockholm Public School

Henning Gustafson, writing for “The Swedish Pioneer” in the Autumn 1951, said, “Eric Peterson, a native of Karlskoga, Värmland (Sweden) went ashore at Maiden Rock from the lumber raft on which he was going down the St. Croix river … Eric Peterson, standing on the high promontory, at once decided: ‘This is the place where I will settle down, and here I will begin a Swedish colony.’”

Some settlers came from Sweden. Stockholm became a thriving community. Businesses grew, a doctor came, a newspaper began, and the railroad came through.

In 1856 Dr. Eric Norelius established a Lutheran church, and a small building was erected for the church and school. A new school was built in 1877, and yet another in 1905, which stands today. In 1875 there were 75 students.

The settlement had trouble bringing a pastor aboard. The first was “overly pious,” and the second was given to card-sharking and drinking.

This is a photo of the public school in Stockholm, built in 1905, presented by the Wisconsin Historical Society. You see the teacher, Amy Larson, and her students. She was a niece twice removed of Eric Peterson, the town’s founder. The Zillow Real Estate Marketplace described it as follows,

“Stockholm Schoolhouse maintains its old-world charm with added modern living. You're going to love the grand entrance, classic woodwork -- including the original classroom doors -- huge windows, some stained glass, wooden floors, bell tower, grand staircase and the 12-ft ceilings throughout. The master suite is huge, and the private bath is totally modern with separate walk-in shower and classic tub.”

It is a private residence.

The History of Buffalo and Pepin Counties, Vol. II, compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, and published in 1919, says the first school in the village was a Swedish school. A district school was set up in 1857 or 1859 “in a small frame building used as a house of worship. The teacher was Amelia Smith. In 1877 a school was erected with two departments. In 1905 a brick school building of four rooms was erected.” At that time, there were two teachers, teaching eight grades and one year of high school.