Ingomar Public School

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Ingomar Public School

Ingomar ,Central Montana

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Location: Ingomar

As hundreds of farmers and ranchers homesteaded the arid , treeless plains of northwestern Rosebud County, the townsite of Ingomar was platted along the tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in 1912. That year, one teacher and a borrowed building served Ingomar’s first public school students. By the following year the western one-room portion of the present building was completed and fourteen students attended classes. In 1915, the school district contracted with Melstone builder Neils Hanson to construct an addition. At a cost of $9,000, the enlarged schoolhouse would serve not only local children, but would also provide a place for community functions. The teachers and their thirty-seven scholars presented a dedication program on November 24, 1915, for the visiting State Inspector of Schools. The school continued to be well attended during the 1920s and 1930s partly because of the closure of other area rural schools. A second building, no longer standing, was built in 1922 to accommodate elementary students, and this building was then converted for use as a high school. It served as such until 1951 and again briefly during the 1960s. Activity at the site ended permanently when Ingomar’s school district closed in 1992. Today the spacious, well-lighted classrooms with hardwood floors, wood wainscot walls and pressed tin ceilings remain intact. One of the area’s few surviving examples of public architecture, it is also eastern Montana’s most outstanding example of post-frontier prairie schoolhouse design. This splendid landmark is all the more remarkable because time and service have left its appearance virtually unchanged.

Photo Note: The old Ingomar schoolhouse is now "The Bunk & Biscuit". The dormitory style bunkhouse offers beds by the night for $15 per person - no matter how many people in a bed. The biscuits are over at the Jersey Lilly across the road. The sign on the bell tower claims "The only place to sleep in 100 miles." No doubt it is.

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