History

Alango School was built in response to the growing number of Finnish children in the area, and was one of several small schools that formed an independent district that eventually became part of the St. Louis County System.

Alango School was founded in 1926. When the Town’s two-room school on Highway 22 (formerly Tower-Itasca Road) burned down in 1926, high school classes were held in a private residence until the current Alango School was completed. The present structure was constructed in two phases between 1926-1927 and 1937-1938. The 1926-27 structure is a design by Elwin H. Berg, Architect. In 1937, Paul S. Damberg, Architect, designed the gymnasium/stage addition which also contained additional classroom space and locker rooms; it was an effort of PWA (Public Works Administration) and WPA (Works Progress Administration). In subsequent years some original outbuildings were razed. The school is constructed of dimension lumber load bearing walls and roof structure. The exterior consists of plaster stucco and brick masonry. This construction is durable and has withstood years of hard wear and exposure to the elements. The building is freestanding.

The site sits at the corner of Minnesota State Highways 22 and 25, approximately 900’ long by 484’ wide, or approximately 10 acres. The school is approached by original concrete walkways from Highway 25 frontage. An additional entrance is located at the west elevation, northward from the main entrance.

Students at Bear River school, approximately 1900. The man on the right is teacher, Lars Leding, and woman on left is his wife. This school was moved to the Alango site and eventually became the Principal's Residence.

Immediately to the east of the Alango School is the Principal’s Residence, a wood frame, single-story with hipped roof, single-family residence. A one-room schoolhouse was moved from Bear River to the site of the charred remains of the two-room schoolhouse, approximately ½ mile away from its present site. Subsequently, this structure was moved to its present location and remodeled in 1937-38 with the help of documents prepared by Damberg.

Principal's Residence

The last graduating class of Alango School was 1963. Elementary grades and early childhood education remained until the late 1980's. The school board voted to close the school on February 9, 1988.

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Elma Hill, teacher at "School No. 45" (Alango), 1929, 1930, 1931.

1933, 7th and 8th Grade. Back row: Ray Phillips, Edwin Hill, Nelmi Koivu, Wilho Koskela, Edwin Suomela, Bill Takala, Herman Lahti, Bill Samuelson, Raymond Johnson. Front row: Irma Roine, Ethel Kujala, Helmi Nelmark, Pauline Karvala, Ruth Kujala, Sigrid Ojanen Kontio, Leo Wilenius, Roy Makela. Teacher: Ethel Lindberg (not pictured).