Open House at Lincoln County Fair focuses on Normal School
FOR THE TOMAHAWK LEADER
MERRILL – What’s normal about the Normal School? Why might Ma want a Mah-Wah? Find the answers to these questions at Brickyard School’s Open House during the Lincoln County Fair, Wednesday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 18.
The focus of the Open House display is the Lincoln County Normal School, also called the Lincoln County Training School or Lincoln County Teachers College. Throughout the name changes its mission remained the same: the preparation of teachers for rural schools. While many graduates went on to teach in city schools, the original goal was to ensure that country school students received their education from well-prepared teachers.
The institution stood in Normal Park along Merrill’s Center Avenue, in the building which first served as the Lincoln County Courthouse. Each year from 1907 until 1967—with the exception of two years during World War II—two different groups of students were educated there. Young adults were enrolled for teacher training, and for students in grades 1 through 8 it was their elementary school, with a veteran teaching staff as well as “practice teachers”—the young adults learning to be teachers.
The goal of the display is to illuminate the school’s sixty-year history, along with highlights of students’ daily activities through the use of text, memorabilia and photos galore. Stop in to experience teacher education from another era. You’re sure to recognize many names and faces.
The display is made possible through materials collected by the Merrill Historical Society and its members, along with volunteers from the Lincoln County Retired Teachers Association and the Merrill Historical Society.
Open House hours are Wednesday, August 14 through Saturday, August 17 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, August 18 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Brickyard School is located at the west end of the Merrill Festival Grounds.