Verona bids farewell to one of district’s first schools

Verona bids farewell to one of district’s first schools

Gordon School, a one room brick school house north of the city, is going to be demolished to make way for highway improvements.

The school was originally built by farmers in the area in 1859 so their children would have a school nearby. Students from the 1st to 8th grade were all taught at the same time. The teacher’s salary was $80 a year.

In 1928, a tornado destroyed the old wooden school but all 12 students survived thanks to the quick thinking of teacher Mrs. Seeley, who gathered all the children together in a back corner around the piano.

The next year, according to Jesse Charles, the president of the Verona Area Historical Society, they took out a loan of $7,000 and the men from the district built the new school, this time out of brick.

“The school house was kind of like the three little pigs, they know down your wood house and you come back and make it out of bricks,” Charles said.

The building stopped being a school in 1966 when the Verona School District was formed. The old Gordon School was turned into a private residence. It was recently sold to the city of Madison, which now plans to expand County Road M, which runs right in front of the building, making living in the building impossible.

The Verona Historical Society said relocating the building would be too expensive.

“We can’t save the building but we can stories and pictures and record those and save the building that way,” Charles said.