The space where Minot High School’s Central Campus now stands has a long history as home to several impressive schools, one of which also happens to be my alma mater. In 1893, a far-too-small schoolhouse was replaced with the building below – Central School, sometimes referred to as “Central Graded School” with the “d”.
By 1905, enrollment had outgrown Central School so the Central High School was built in a bookend position on the same city block. In the hand-colored photo postcard above you can see Central High School in the background, so we know this photo was taken after 1905.
This was Minot’s High School for thirteen years when, in 1918, enrollment had again outgrown capacity and the new Central High School was built, with the school shown above then being referred to as “Old Central.”
I was a kid in Minot when, in 1974, they knocked down Old Central. I have just the faintest memories of seeing this school from the back seat of my Mom’s car when we occasionally drove by it. So, unfortunately, both of the schools on this page no longer stand.
A gymnasium/cafeteria addition for Central Campus was built on the spot where Old Central stood. Ten years later, I would go to Central Campus myself for two years before moving on to the new, modern high school for my final two years. I enjoyed going to Central right in downtown Minot, but I also remember the school having a very mad labyrinth vibe due to the incredible number of renovations and additions which were done over the years — necessary for a school with very limited space in an non-typical downtown location.
And Central was full of rumors and legends too… ask any former Central Campus student about the little-known Central Campus swimming pool which was shuttered and hidden away in shame after a student drowned, and they will tell you that they know that story, and maybe more… — Troy
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy