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Riverside School in Blair

The Riverside School District began, being together with Valley View School and together had about 93 students in 1860-1870.

The first clerk was Bercher Olson and the largest enrollment caused the district need to be split up in 1888. Then that school building was moved and became the Valley View School.

At first, it was talked about building a new school in Vosse Coulee, but thought that was too far for some children to walk. So the town board decided on a piece of land from the Shepherd farm and it became the new location of the Riverside School. Henry Jr. was school clerk for many years.

Many children have learned their lessons since then in that school house. Parochial school was also taught there for a month or so during the summer. At first it was taught in Norwegian. At one time Dan Gibson was our Superintendent. Guy Shepherd and Ole Sylfest were on the school board.

Art Mikkelson was known to have named the school, Riverside, while he was a student here. Art was a brother of Bella Kvaalseth, Lily Johnson and Gena Johnson, who lived all in Turri Coulee. Their paternal grandmother was named “Turri” and that’s who Turrie Coulee was named after.

Lots of memories have been made here the past years. Big events were the Christmas and Halloween programs. Then of course, the last day of school, when the parents and older brothers and sisters came to play ball. We then had a big nice potluck meal. In the spring, when we raked the yard we all looked forward to the wiener roast afterward.

An outside pump furnished the drinking water with a cooler in the basement. In the early days there was a big stove upstairs but later a furnace was installed in the basement. I have no knowledge if it always had a basement or if that was installed later. There was only outdoor toilets and wood furnace. Electricity came about 1944-45. All the students had duties to help the teacher and keep the place clean.

The last year there was school there was 1954. Mr. & Mrs. Glen Hamilton purchased the building in 1957 & remodeled it into a home. No outside changes were made till 1984 when the top was removed. Many people have received a good education at Riverside.