Memories from Washington School
The only elementary school on the East Side of town was Washington School
on the corner of Division and Shumway. When the Class of '61 entered,
there were only four rooms, a half flight up were the library cum phy
ed space on the left and the 1st and 2nd grade room on the right. On
the second floor the left side housed the 3rd and 4th grades and the
right side room housed the 5th and 6th grades. (The rest rooms were
in the basement - girls left and boys right.) A half flight up on stairs
next to the 3rd and 4th grade room was a small room called the teachers'
lounge which the three teachers used for lunch ( and I think for a break
when we had recess since I don't remember that we were supervised).
The three teachers were Mrs. Mademann for 1st and 2nd grade, Miss Bengsten
for 3rd and 4th, and we had Mr. Wilhelmsen for 5th grade. (Since there
was no Kindergarten, we were bused from the front of Washington to Central
School each day. I'm afraid I can't remember our teacher's name.) We
had a whole hour for lunch and about half of us brought our lunches.
In the winter, those of us who stayed for lunch made snow angels or
played hens and geese -- I think that is what it was called. We first
had to tramp down a big circle in the snow with many radii. Then someone
was it and had to tag another, but you had to stay on the track. When
we were in 1st grade, there was a terrific windstorm in the spring that
blew out two windows -- one in our room and on in the 5th grade room.
This is the only time I can remember school closing the whole time we
were in grade school.
In the fall of our 6th grade year, the new addition
opened. There was a Kindergarten room and the three primary grades moved
to the new addition. And there was a cafeteria / auditorium / gym and
nice new rest rooms. Each grade now had its own room, though the 6th
grade had the room it had previously had as the 5th-6th grade room.
Since the building doubled in size, we obviously needed more students,
so all of the country kids who rode buses into Faribault were now transferred
to Washington. In the 6th grade, we all played "jacks". When
it rained, we even played on the floor of our classroom during both
lunch and recess.