Little School on the Prairie

Little School on the Prairie

This little school is in Adelaide Township, Bowman County, just off Rhame Road, just a few miles south of Rhame, North Dakota. It is a particularly beautiful example of a two-room prairie schoolhouse in a very sparsely populated part of the state.

Adelaide Township School

Adelaide Township School

We’ve found it somewhat rare to find a little school on the prairie┬álike this where the bell tower is still in good condition. Frequently, they have toppled by the time we arrive to shoot some photos.

Adelaide Township School

Adelaide Township School

We photographed this school as we were on our way south to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, with our eventual destination Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

Adelaide Township School

Adelaide Township School

Adelaide Township School

Adelaide Township School

A herd of antelope were having some fun in the morning sun in the field across the road. Most of them bounded away when we arrived but this one hung around as if to say, “Hey, what are you guys up to?

Adelaide Township School

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

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Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota.

12 thoughts on “Little School on the Prairie

  1. What a cool little place! Hope to come here and see it myself sometime in the near future! Also troy, have you considered visiting streeter ND? I just went to there last weekend and there was an impressive abandoned school that I looked in. Didn’t walk inside the busted door entrance to far, cause the floor was covered with debris and moss, and parts of the ceiling could definitely fall on you. But it made for some good photo ops!

  2. Looks like the same floor plan as the Heil School, but it appears this school had indoor bathrooms. I believe the Heil school still has their bell in the tower. I was told Elgin wanted the bell after they consolidated with that district. It was great to see a new paint job on the Heil school. They have a rummage sale there every June to raise funds for upkeep.

    1. I was just wondering where my Mom’s middle name came from as it was ADELAIDE, her Mother Grandma (Christiansen) Spires was a school teacher and so maybe Grandma taught at that school ,I will have to look through my history book and see. Have you been to the Tablemountain area south of Rhame? that is where my mother was born.

  3. Both my sisters taught in country schools. Both had horse barns for the kids that rode horseback to school to put their horses in. Some students still rode horse to school. There was no indoor bathrooms and it was the teachers responsibility to keep the pot bellied stove burning. One taught in a two room school but one room was used as living quarters for my sister and the other room was for all eight grades. I have a hand bell that was used to start school and to end recess. My wife attended a one room school through eight grades north of McClusky or south of Drake.

  4. The photos show how the school was built – all that plaster and lathe. Was the exterior really brick? Disappointing that people seem to feel moved to break the windows. My husband wanted to buy and remodel an old school near Bismarck as our first home. By the time he had the money, the school had been demolished.

  5. I attended this school. Their was a horse barn and a house for the teacher to live in. At one time, there were lots of people living here and the school also had two years of high school.
    The school would still be in good shape like the bell tower, if someone would not have shot the windows out after it closed. It was a very nice building in it’s time. Fuel oil heat, forced air to keep it warm. Indoor bathrooms were a luxury at that time. The big basement was used as a spot to play in during the cold weather for recess. I attended Adelaide School for 8 years.

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