Rural school feature prompted response from Erhard ‘country’ student
Letter | Published on January 11, 2023 at 6:39pm CST | Author: Pelican Rapids Press0
The cutline under the Erhard Town Hall photo in the January 5 Pelican Rapids Press edition gives the impression that, as a village schoolhouse, it served all of the Erhard area.
(This building originally was located west of Erhard and was moved into town to replace the old town hall, where I recall attending Erhard Gophers 4-H meetings as a kid. )
If “Erhard Hills” denotes the area east of town, however, two country schools served families east of Erhard. One is now the Erhards Grove Town Hall at the top of the hill east of town, and the other was farther east on County Highway 24.
The Erhards Grove Town Hall was originally District 17 and later District 1386.
It served families named Bengtson, Brusven, Christianson, Hanson, Hoefs, Motz, Pederson, Peterson, Sundblad, Wahl, Wahlstrom, Weiss, and probably many others over the years.
My mother, Ella Wahl Nelson, and her 13 siblings attended this school, as did my brother and I. By the time I attended this schoolhouse from 1954 to 1962, it was a well-maintained, relatively modern building with central heating, indoor plumbing, hot lunch program, full basement for phy ed activities during inclement weather, playground equipment, lots of space for spring and fall softball games, and a long hill to the north for winter tobogganing.
I had two excellent teachers, Miss Hoff for grades 1-4 and Miss Alma Ness for grades 5-8. They prepared me well to transfer to Pelican Rapids High School, from which I graduated in 1966.
I lived 2.5 miles south and east of the country schoolhouse, and it served as the bus stop for my neighbors and me because the Pelican bus did not travel our road at that time.
I‘ve subscribed to The Press for years and enjoy reading it front to back each week.
Thanks for the memories of the old country schoolhouses!
—Phyllis Nelson Rossow, Rothsay
Editor’s note: Our thanks to Phyllis for clarifying the history of the old town hall in Erhard. We were not aware that the building was actually moved into town from its original site west of town as a rural schoolhouse. Thanks again.
—Louis Hoglund, managing editor