The History of the Beaver Dam School
Parents taught their children at home until 1853 when Ira Sumner donated one acre of land from his 100-acre farm. The first school was a log cabin that was ready for use in September 1854. Expenses, including the teacher’s salary for nine months of school were $150.00. It was cold and drafty during the school season. The school received it name due to a colony of beavers that were building a dam in the area.
The first annual meeting of District No. 2 occurred in July of 1854. Only men 21 years of age or older could vote. Seven voters were present at the first meeting where the following officers were elected: Joseph Wakefield, clerk; W.C. Isabel, director, and Derius C. Weston, treasurer. The electors decided that the teacher must be a female and Miss Stroud was hired.
In July 1884 it was decided to borrow $500.00 from Gandor Steck for construction of a new school house. Jacob Steiger purchased the old log building for $20.00 and then turned around and sold the timber to the Town of Fremont for the new building.
John Tilly built the new school for $450.00, including the painting. The bricks were purchased from Albert Henke’s brickyard.
A wood stove, centered in the back of the room, was the only source of heat. Enough fuel was available at 75 cents a cord but the room was only warm around the stove. Early Beaver Dam students could clearly remember two things: cold feet and hands in the winter and trips to the outhouse. Drinking water was provided by J. Suetter. He charged $1.00 a year for this service. In 1890 a well was drilled putting an end to this aspect of his income.
The nearby St. Paul’s Lutheran Church used the little brick school house for two weeks every year for German Bible lessons until they could afford to build their own school.
The last annual meeting of the Beaver Dam School District was held on July 14, 1958. Walter Sander, the treasurer at that time, turned $3,484.84 over to Joint District No. 3, the Fremont Public School. Other members of the last Beaver Dam School board were Leonard Kloehn, director, and Herbert Meydam, clerk.
In 1960 Fremont Township purchased the former Beaver Dam School building to use as their Town Hall. It was later moved to the east and set back because of the new highway construction in 1976 of Hwys 10 & 110 that made the new four-lane bridge.
On April 15, 2013 the Fremont Area Historical Society officially leased the building from the Town of Fremont.
Their plans include displaying local artifacts, research center for genealogy and returning the building into a one room schoolhouse.