Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg is a small town in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, about 55 miles west of Willmar, or 50 miles northeast of Watertown, South Dakota.

We visited on a Saturday afternoon and it was very quiet.  We saw two or three vehicles drive through while we were there, and there were some kids playing too, but just a little activity from what we saw.  We visited with the intention of getting photos of the historic 1911 Public School.

Louisburg, Minnesota

The Louisburg School is on the National Register of Historic Places due to its significance as one of Minnesota’s best examples of Victorian Public School Design. It was built in 1911 to replace a smaller school, and was originally intended to house two grade school classes on the main floor and two high school classes on the upper floor.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg Public School was shuttered in a consolidation wave in the 1960s and has since fallen into disrepair. The roof of this school is open to the elements and you can see through it from the right angle.  As a result, the floors are all rotted and crumbling.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

A peek through the basement window.

Louisburg, Minnesota

These are the footings from the playground equipment which was removed sometime in the last few years.  There’s another blogger who photographed Louisburg when the playground equipment was still in place.  See it here.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg was platted in 1887 and a Post Office opened in 1888. It was decommissioned in 1992.

If the census records for Louisburg are accurate, this town has gone through somewhat of an influx of residents recently.  According to the 2000 census, Louisburg had 26 residents, but as of 2010, the census tallied 47.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Emmerich’s, built in 1906, was a grocery store for a time.

Louisburg, Minnesota

A peek around the back.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

A sleepy Saturday in Louisburg.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

The Louisburg Fire Station sometimes serves as a gathering place and/or picnic spot for the remaining residents.

Louisburg, Minnesota

This monument commemorating the Louisburg Centennial is right in front of the fire station.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

The former home of the Allen family.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Homeplate on the seldom used baseball diamond.

Louisburg, Minnesota

Louisburg, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

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30 thoughts on “Abandoned 1911 School in Louisburg, Minnesota

  1. Have you ever gone through Correll? It is between Appleton and Ortonville and is quite the sad little town. I grew up there and watched their old school be torn down (the wonderful man who housed us in a complicated story was the contractor in charge of its excavation). The state of these grand old buildings is so sad!

    1. Hi Michelle, I was crossed with your post couple days ago. Where did you lived in Correll?
      We just moved there recently.

  2. I keep seeing these beautiful brick school buildings in your explorations…. wish I had the funds to just go around restoring them 🙂 Some friends bought the empty center of a town in Virginia and the schoolhouse and mill are the last buildings they need to restore now.

    Thanks for the wonderful website!
    -Merlin

  3. I grew up and was raised in this sleepy, little town. I lived next door to the church and my Mother owned the grocery store and was the postmaster. The post office was in the back of the store. I went to school in that old schoolhouse. At that time, there were 15 students in K-6 grades…..a quaint 2 room schoolhouse. This town is my heart and soul, a village that raised it’s children, where we called the adults by Mr. or Mrs. and every parent disciplined and raised each child. Much love and respect ole sleepy town.

    1. I wish they would have shown the church. It is maintained and beautiful and those 47 people have managed to put in a new elevator for the handicapped. It’s tragic that the funds are just not possible to fix and maintain the schoolhouse. It’s such a nice little village.

    2. Leann, I remember you and your family! Clara and Edwin Peterson (my husband’s parents) lived next door to your folks. It was good to walk across the street from the cafe to the grocery store, or even just next door to borrow some sugar! Lee Peterson

  4. I too lived in Louisburg as a little girl, started school in the beautiful brick schoolhouse, and again in sr. H.S. Lots of great memories from Louisburg. My mothers family were some of the earliest settlers there, the Nelson’s.

    1. My great great grandfather was Abraham Sundahl. We are going to visit the town this weekend and attend the Lutheran Church. My grandmother was baptized there around 1896. Where is the cemetery? There is a Sundahl cemetary plot. A great uncle is buried there.
      Is there a church bell? My great great grandmother helped raise the funds.
      vdahle@aol.com

      1. My name is David Peterson and my grandfather Carl Peterson lived a short distance from the Sundals. My father Edwin Peterson told me stories about Henry Sundal, Hans Sundal and some others that I have forgotten. We lived on the farm down below the Sundal farm.

  5. I think you should do a story on Haydenville, MN. It is no longer a town, but the school house is still standing. We live in the only house that is still standing from the original Haydenville.

  6. My father is from Louisburg. I spent many summers there with my Grandparents Earl and Ida Fink. My Grandpa used to own the gas station which is conected to the Grocery store and my Grandmother worked at the Grocery store I used to help Grandpa deliver gas to the farmers, pump gas and watch him change tires in his shop in the back. I sometimes would get a quarter tip for washing someone’s windows on their car.

    The little town used to be a busy place. Shake for coffee every morning and afternoon at the coffe shop. Baseball games in the field behind the Gas Station Grandpas station would be full of his buddies that would come to town or walk on down just to hang with him inside the station or sit on the bench outside under the two big windows and watch and wave at the people coming to and leaving town.

    I have many fond memories of this Beautiful little Town.

  7. I spent a lot of time in Louisburg when I was a little girl with the Sorenson family. My mother and dad were confirmed and married in that beautiful little church, my brother and I were baptized there and both my parent’s funerals were held there. Lots of fun memories of the time I spent there. It’s hard to see these little towns that had so much going on in them 50+ years ago slowly disappearing.

  8. The house that is posted right below the picture of home plate was the home of Ronald and Virginia Michaelson. Virginia sold it in1971.

  9. We were blessed to live in Louisburg for six years. My husband, Rev. Tom Koelln, was pastor of Louisburg Lutheran Church from 1981-1987. Our family has great memories of our time there. God has blessed many lives through the people in that community.
    Rebecca and Tom Koelln

  10. Spent a lot of time here My Dads Family is from Here. Still know some of the residence. My Dad Was one of the Boxrud Twins still around at 87 along with his Sister Carol. The Emmerich Store was owned at one time by my Uncle Dan Myrum. And I believe now owned by My Cousin Jim. I still visit the cemetery and the many names of family interned there. I even recognize some of the name in the comments above, Sad to see it decline but sort of cool to see it on line, sort of makes it live again. I ate in the Cafe, and hung out in Uncle Dans store & post office, and Letrud Implement all in the photos above.

  11. My son’s paternal grandparents were from Bellingham – which is (*was??) right by Louisburg.

    Their last name was Sorenson.

    I had the pleasure of seeing this great little town & I think it is really interesting.

    My son & his dad still go up there quite a bit…

  12. I love, love this town and the people here, have served them for the past 7 years. The school is beautiful, even now.

  13. My husband used to go to his Grandparent’s house at least every year. They lived right across from the school I think. He would take his bb gun and wait patiently in the empty lot nearby for the gophers to pop up so he could collect the bounty. His mom was Phyllis Larson Spence.

  14. We used to go to Louisburg after church (Minnesota Valley) for coffee and Clara’s brownies. They were the best brownies. I believe they planned the times of the two church services so we wouldn’t be at Clara’s at the same time–not enough room for everyone.

  15. That place paralled Mayberry. The sincerity, honesty, and integrity of the residents helped to shape the character of each of us connected to it. I too attended the 1911 school and am proud to call Louisburg my home town. I still visit my childhood there whenever life gets to complicated and I need a peaceful place to go.I can see the past residents and hear their voices loud and clear. They mentored to each of us in a certain way and I believe those of us that grew up there left with a jump-start on the world. Speaking of the world…… It would be a distinctly different place if each child had an opportunity to grow up in a place like Louisburg. Like we did.

    1. I agree with you Scott. When thinking of significant influences on my life, the community of Louisburg was very instrumental in shaping me. It was my privilege to have Thea Iverson as my teacher for 3rd through 6th grade. Her dedication to the job was amazing and truly gave me a desire to learn just for the joy of learning. It is sad to see the old building deteriorating since I have feelings for a building that was also the place where my Dad attended school.
      Dave Peterson

      1. In researching whom the owner of an old wood shipping box, I found this site. I’d love to know more about the history if someone recalls any of the following names.
        The box was sent from
        P.F.C H. Alexander
        to
        Mrs. Doyle Alexander in Louisburg MN
        The stamp is to hard to read the date, but the box appears to be from WWII

  16. Have you ever been to Hanska, Minnesota. The old school still stands and would love old photos before it gets taken down

  17. My grand parents lived in Louisburg. They were Nels and Marie Sorenson. Had 11 children Elvina Sorenson was my mother> She married Paul Ronglien . So many relatives from there. The cemetery is behind the home of my grandparents, Nels Sorenson dedicated the property to the cemetery . So many relatives buried there. Many, days visiting this lovely town. It should be a historical place to visit.

  18. I just ran onto this site while surfing the net. I was born in Louisburg and raised in the original school house. My grandfather, Albert Kohls was the blacksmith. He bought the old schoolhouse and hired Cecil Schake to convert it to a house. I know almost everyone who lived there and certainly echo everything that has been said. Wonderful wonderful memories!! I would do it all again if possible.
    Dennis Wiese

  19. I would like to explore the place and would love any information possibly please and on any other places that I could explore in the area

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