Brickyard School

Again this year during the Lincoln County Fair, July 18-22, Brickyard School Museum will host an Open House for the public. Among the hundreds of visitors will be former students of the one-room school. And to one special teacher, Lorraine Muschinske, it will truly be like coming home again.

As a young teacher Mrs. Muschinske taught at Brickyard School when it stood along Highway 64 in the town of Pine River. Not long after she retired, and the building had been moved to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Mrs. Muschinske became involved with the programs held there: the Fair Open House and visits from area first graders each fall. She served as Director of the Brickyard School Museum from 1997 until 2009. Because of her many Brickyard connections, it seemed fitting to pay tribute to Mrs. Muschinske. A special display has been created in her honor, which will be unveiled on the first day of the fair. Her contributions to Brickyard School, as well as the achievements and honors she earned during her teaching career, will be highlighted. Stop in to view this well-deserved tribute.

Also this year at Brickyard School, you will have the opportunity to make the acquaintance of 57 Lincoln County rural teachers from the “Roaring 20s.” Some you may have met before: Dolores Chilsen, Edna Kraft, Clarence Styza, Della Buchanan. All 57 were chosen by the Merrill Daily Herald as newsworthy educators of their time and were featured in a series of articles in the Herald from March through May, 1929. The series was entitled, “Lincoln County’s Teachers and Work They Are Doing.”

We are indebted to Jim Severt, town of Merrill, and his great-aunt, Ethel Peterson Bliss, for the information in the display. Ethel (1903-1997) was a Merrill native, a rural school teacher – plus a myriad of other things – as well as a saver! Upon her death, among the mementos Jim received was a little notebook into which Ethel had pasted all of the articles from the newspaper series of 1929. Suspecting it was a treasure, he graciously donated it to the Merrill Historical Society, specifically the Brickyard School Museum. From this surprise gift came the idea for this summer’s display. Who knows? You may discover YOUR great-aunt among the featured teachers.

Brickyard School Museum, located at the fairgrounds, will be open each day of the fair from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are welcome. The experience is priceless.

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