Turner County's First School

In the late 1960s the state legislature passed laws that provided for consolidation of schools in South Dakota.  Within a few years, most schools in the state had consolidated.  The "little one room schoolhouse," which had long been an American institution, rapidly began to vanish.  Those that remained were required that they operate as a satellite of a larger school district that provided both elementary and secondary education.  A few rural schools survived in more remote regions of our state.  However, by the early 70s all the country schools in Turner County had been closed with the contents and buildings being sold at public auction.

Located in Heritage Park we have the first schoolhouse in Turner County which was located northwest of Swan Lake.  The bell in this school was purchased at Yankton and once hung in the state territorial capital building when Yankton was the capitol.

The schoolhouse is furnished as one-room country schools were.  Hanging on the wall we have a large map of the county and pictures of many of the former rural schools which were located in our county.  The photographs on the map are where the schools were located.