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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Frey School (Tim Heggland photo, 2009)

Frey School (Tim Heggland photo, 2009)

Frey School interior (Tim Heggland photo, 2009)

Frey School interior, vestibule (Tim Heggland photo, 2009)

Frey School
8847 County Trunk Highway Y, Town of Roxbury, Dane County
Date of construction: ca.1870

Located on the outskirts of the unincorporated hamlet of Roxbury in northwest Dane County, this highly intact one-room sandstone school building was built between 1870 and 1881 as the Town of Roxbury District No. 2 School. The first school on this site was a one-room frame building built by the Town between 1855 and 1861 on a half-acre of land donated by Agidius and Anna Frey in 1855. The Freys were natives of Bavaria who had come to this country just a few years before and had established a farm that surrounded the land that they donated to the Town. By 1870, the population in the Town had grown to the point where the original school was in need of replacement, as were several of the other five one-room schools in the Town of Roxbury. As a result, four of the Town’s original six schools were replaced with ones built of locally quarried sandstone over the course of the next ten years. The Frey School is now the most intact of the three stone Town of Roxbury schools that survive.

Like most one-room schoolhouses, the exterior of the Frey School is simple in design and its most outstanding feature, besides its stone walls, is its pointed arch entrance door, the opening of which has paneled sides. The interior consists of a narrow vestibule where coats were kept and this room opens into the classroom proper; both spaces share a plastered cove ceiling and plastered walls. Like other schools of the day, the Frey School did not have indoor plumbing and it was heated by a wood stove. Wood and water for drinking was supplied by members of the Frey family while the school was in operation and the building had to wait until well into the twentieth century before it was electrified.

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