District No. 20 – Rentz School
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|YEARS SCHOOLS BUILT||1859, enlarged in 1877, 1898|
|GENERAL LOCATION||Southwest of Lakeland|
|MODERN ADDRESS||Neal Avenue North|
|DISTRICT BOUNDARIES||Colby Lake marks the northwestern corner, eastern border is about a mile and a half from the St. Croix River.|
|NOTES||In 1900, there were 45 pupils attending school in this district.|
|1920s||Bessie Swanson Bebermeyer|
|1940-1942||Pearl Carlson Dornfeld|
|1948-1950||Pearl Carlson Dornfeld|
|1945-1953||Grace McAlpine (superintendent)|
“My family moved into a redwood rambler across the street from Rentz School on June 4, 1953.
Mrs. Fermisha Anderson taught eight grades in this one-room schoolhouse. She would stand in the back of the room near the library table, and call one grade at a time. All students in the grade would sit at the table to learn their lessons. She also taught us all as one class when she taught from the front of the room. We stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Anderson would hand out small, lightweight musical instruments, which we would play while we paraded around the room.
The building was heated in the winter using coal. The boys would have to shovel coal into the basement furnace and eventually shovel the cinders into a box, which was dumped into the back yard, just outside the back door.
The school contained two bathrooms, one for each sex. A cloakroom was located directly inside the front door. In the rear of the school property were two out houses, one for each sex.
We all looked forward to recess when we played baseball and could swing.
One year, a Halloween party was held, and we bobbed for apples in a old-fashioned wash tub; we were blindfolded and walked down the stairs into the basement to dip our hands in “brains and guts,” which was made of hamburger and other foods mixed with paint, which made it appropriately slippery and slimy, and which scared everyone to death. Before the Christmas holiday, we all practiced singing and putting on a little school play. The long driveway next to the schoolyard used to be lined with very tall pine trees, planted by the owner of the house next door when he was a child. They are now all dead and gone.
During recess, we also played “house” under the pine branches. We’d sweep the “floor” with a pine branch to keep our “house” clean.”
-Memories by Paula McDonough Taylor