The decade of the 1910’s was an active one for the Granada school. It wasn’t quite as exciting as the time when the schoolhouse sprouted legs and moved several times but some major milestones were reached during this decade.
In 1914 the first brick school was built (pictured above). It was quite a bit more substantial than the wood two story, four room school it replaced. The old school house was simply picked up and moved aside to make room for the new building which was a fine new addition to the Village of Granada.
The Granada High School also came into being when we became accredited as a high school. The GHS Class of 1915 was the first graduating class. Gladys Hall, Winona Hall, Alfreida Hiller, Lottie Older and Clair Winzenburg were the first graduates. Two years later in 1917 the As You Like It high school yearbook was published. This was the first yearbook. The next one wasn’t published until twelve years later in 1929.
It all began back in 1866 by Charlie Chipman. A three months school was held at his home and one student, Rob Hill, only missed 10 minutes of school. The next year School District # 30 was organized which eventually evolved to become GHEC. The first school house was described by Mrs. L.M. Neitzell as “a one room shanty on the prairie built of rough boards with a door and two windows. It was merely a shelter for summer and contained a bench around the sides with a rough home made desk in front”.
The lumber for the moving schoolhouse was hauled from Mankato by oxen team. It was a structure with seven foot ceilings and measured 16 x 20 feet. Wealthy Hill was the first teacher and she received $25.20 for her first term. This is also a time when rat hides were legal tender in Center Creek Township. Currency was very rare and when it was available it was considered a curiosity.
In March 1888, when Handy (now Granada) was formed, the schoolhouse started the most colorful part of its history. There were no bridges crossing Center Creek and the children were forced to ford the creek to go to school. About March 1888 the “Northerners” decided the school should be on their side of the creek. They did not want to endanger their children by having them ford the creek. They promptly decided to clandestinely move the school. The children on the south side went to school that day and as you can imagine they were quite happy as there was quite literally no school! Thus the beginning of the “Civil War” in Granada began. The schoolhouse would eventually be moved so often that neither side would know where the building would be day to day.
Three men were arrested for conspiracy and another escaped by being warned by his son when the sheriff came to their front door. Justice Wade heard the case and decided that the charge was not proven in April 1888. The men were let free and the school would still meander across the creek every now and then. The school was eventually located on the north side and a bridge was also built.
Over the years there were several additions and improvements to the school. On September 19, 1966 the 1914 building and 1923 addition burned. A firewall saved the 1952 and 1964 additions. Classes were held in the Assembly of God Church, Granada Congregational Church, Methodist Church, bus shed, Community Center, on the stage, in the hallways and lunchroom. The community really pulled together that year.
On July 1, 1970 Granada consolidated with its sports arch enemy, the Huntley Knights. The era of the Granada Eagles and Huntley Knights came to an end. The GHHS Chargers then galloped onto the scene. On a humorous note, we were called Gruntley outside the community. The reign of the Chargers and East Chain Chainers later came to an end during the school year of 1983-84. The present day GHEC Mustang’s were born.
Comments, additions, or corrections are most welcome; please send to the Granada Historical Museum, PO Box 115, Granada, MN 56039.