Maple Grove School’s history is one that is richly filled with tradition, dedication, and education excellence to its students, their families and the community.
The school’s beginning (not named Maple Grove until 1919) was a humble one as were most rural schools of its day. In 1902, by the decision of the Town Board, a 46’x30’ frame building was to be constructed. It was to face the south on a one-acre site at the southwest corner of Section 12 in the Town of Hamburg. (better known to residents as the corner of Marathon County Highway L and Schoolhouse Lane.) The building was to have pine siding painted white (it was not painted red until the late 1940’s) and the roof covered with the best Michigan cedar shingles. Hanging in the trademark bell tower was to be a National Bell. This bell that welcomed our forefathers into school is the same one that is used to call today’s children in from recess.
Over the years many, of course, many improvements have been made to the original building. A woodshed painted red was built in 1906; the first well was drilled in 1913; a deeper basement was dug in 1927-28; electric lights installed in 1929; a hot air furnace was installed in 1941. In 1949 the school was renovated and expanded. It was then that the school building was red and earned its name as “The Little Red School”. The building was again remodeled and expanded in 1951 and 1962. The original part of the building still remains in use today. How appropriate that this part of the building that once was the one room place of learning for grades 1-8 for the very first students in 1904 is now the classroom for the kindergartners who are beginning their first of six years of learning at Maple Grove.
Fromm Brothers’ Influence
Many of the modernization features, renovations and expansions were funded largely in part by Ed Fromm and the Fromm Brothers. Their generosity to the Maple Grove School has been unsurpassed. Because of this generosity and dedication to the Hamburg community, Maple Grove was said to be “one of the most modern one-room school buildings in Wisconsin”. Their influence and benevolence continues today because of the generous endowment in 1976 of the “Walter and Mabel Fromm Scholarship”. Since then over 300 students who attended Maple Grove School have been given the opportunity to attend a 4-year Wisconsin college or technical school with all or most of the tuition paid for by this amazing family.
As with most things in life the Maple Grove School has been through many changes over the past 117 years. However, despite all these changes some things have remained constant; the incredible feeling of warmth, caring and sense of family and community, the dedication to education excellence as well as the preservation and awareness of nature and safe-keeping of the environment. All these things are emphasized and taught daily within the strong, bright red walls of Maple Grove School. Those of us who have had the privilege of being a part of this wonderful tradition are all the better because of it. It is our hope and goal that many more children and families of this Wisconsin community continue to benefit from the tradition of this “Little Red School” and fill the pages of history for another 100 years!
Maple Grove School’s Future
The sky is the limit for future learning at Maple Grove School. Together with technology, increased environmental awareness and activities, as well as modern teaching/learning techniques while still adhering to the effective character traits of CRISP, we will continue to educate and prepare our students to be educated, contributing members of society.
As we continue to develop a theme-based learning curriculum, utilizing the assets and benefits of our rural environment, the graduates of Maple Grove School will be exponentially equipped to master middle school and high school. Because of the “Walter and Mabel Fromm Scholarship” our students will have the supreme advantage and opportunity of substantial financial assistance to attend a 4-year college or 2-year technical school.