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Mennonite Heritage and

Agricultural Museum

Imigrant House replica | Goessel Museum
Turkey Red Wheat Palace | Goessel Museum
Schroeder Barn | Goessel Museum
Friesen House | Goessel Museum
Krause House | Goessel Museum
Goessel State Bank | Goessel Museum
1906 Prep School | Goessel Museum

Each of the 8 buildings tells a different story.

 Celebrating the Homecoming of the

South Bloomfield Stage Curtain 

S. Bloomfield Stage Curtain-Goessel Museum
S. Bloomfield Stage Curtain
S. Bloomfield Stage Curtain-Goessel Museum

Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. the South Bloomfield school was full and over flowing with people that came to welcome the stage curtain home.

Ten former students of the South Bloomfield school came to welcome the stage curtain home and to reunite with memories of "the good ole days".  One former school board member and the man that donated the curtain to the museum, are also pictured.  (One former student is not pictured.)

 

South Bloomfield one-room 

school house

 

 

Education was important to the Mennonite settlers.  In Russia they had control of their own educational system, and the loss of this privilege was one of the reasons that the Alexanderwohl village decided to move to Kansas in 1874.  Many of the early schools, some organized as early as 1875, were held in homes. Eventually, about every two-square-mile area in Kansas, had a school house. 

 

South Bloomfield School was built in 1875, and was located two miles west and about one-half mile south of the west edge of present-day Goessel.  The 1897-1898 school year saw the highest enrollment, with 48 students. The lowest enrollment was five pupils in 1953-1954, the last year the school was open.   The building was purchased by Isaac B. Fast and moved to his farm southwest of Goessel where it was used to store wheat.  It was moved to the museum site in January 1983 and restored by volunteers. 

 

One-room schools served as community centers.  Programs, like Christmas Eve and once a month community programs were held at the school.  Sometimes the school building served as a church - instead of driving to " the big church" every Sunday - services would be held in the schools several times a month because of the driving distance.

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In the very early years most of the schools in the Alexanderwohl community followed a similar curriculum. All classes were taught in German and the main emphases were on the Bible, reading, and arithmetic. Music was also taught, although it consisted mostly of learning hymns.  In 1877 Mennonite teachers were urged by the Kansas Conference of Mennonites to begin teaching some English.  This was the first year that Kansas law required English grammar to be included in a school"s curriculum.  Low German, however, continued to be the primary language spoken in the homes of the Goessel Mennonite community for many years.  High German was considered the language of literature and religious services until the transition from German to English was virtually complete around 1940.  

 

 

South Bloomfield School | Goessel Museum
Inside of South Bloomfield | Goessel Museum
Wood burning stove | Goessel Museum

A wood burning stove like this one, kept the children warm.

Interior of the one-room school

The South Bloomfield School is over 100 year old.  The paint job was completed in 2016.   But you can still help with it's upkeep.

July 2016 update on South Bloomfield one-room

school painting project and new donation of stage curtain.

The one-room school served as a community center.  Christmas Eve programs and once a month events were held at the schools.  Church services would also be held in the schools several times a month because of driving distance.

 

The description of the South Bloomfield one-room school house came in part from the booklet "They Sought A New Land" by Darlene Schroeder

Moving South Bloomfiled school | Goessel Museum

Moving Day 1983

South Bloomfield one-room school | Goessel Museum Site

Museum location

Display of one room schools | Goessel Museum

Mayleen Thiesen Vinson put together a wonderful display of the 20 one-room school districts in the Goessel area.  She gathered pictures and compiled detailed reseach from area individuals who still had this information.  It is on permanent display in the Immigrant House.

Display of one room schools | Goessel Museum

List of one-room schools in Goessel area permanent display:

  • Antioch #53

  • Emma Walley #62

  • Emmenthal #30

  • Good Hope #123

  • Gordon #31

  • Green Valley #32 

  • Greenfield #99

  • Heimbaugh #81

  • Highland #58

  • Hochfeld #36

  • Pleasant Valley #27

  • N. Bloomfield #89

  • Sand Creek #33

  • S. Bloomfield #50

  • S. Maple Grove #49

  • Springfield #80

  • Steinbach #72

  • Wareham #28

Goessel State Bank | Goessel Museum
Turkey Red Wheat Palace | Goessel Museum
Friesen House | Goessel Museum
Krause House | Goessel Museum
Schroeder Barn | Goessel Museum
1906 Prep School | Goessel Museum
Imigrant House replica | Goessel Museum

Each of the 8 buildings tells a different story.

2014-2019 Mennonite Heritage

and Agricultural Museum

Created by Fern Bartel nee Schmidt

 

Moving South Bloomfield school | Goessel Museum