Remnants of Garnavillo 1922 School Building on Display
Concrete design remnants of the 1922 Garnavillo School building, demolished in 2015, found their way to the Garnavillo Prairie Winds Garden this summer through the efforts of the late Wayne Bacon, his wife Becky, Roger Balk, Chuck Lawson, Hank Werger and Carol DeSotel.
After the merger of the Garnavillo and Guttenberg school into the Clayton Ridge School District, the Garnavillo School building on the 200 block of west Center Street, built in the year 1922, was no longer used and so demolished in 2015 to make way for the new Emergency Services Department building. Wayne Bacon who was the Garnavillo Fire Chief at the time, saved some of the ornamental concrete blocks that were on the front and above the door of the 3 story building. The blocks were stored at Bacon’s storage area in the Industrial Park until his wife, Becky, offered them to the Garnavillo Historical Society in 2020. In May of this year, 2021, using a forklift, Roger Balk of the Garnavillo Mill moved them to the Prairie Winds Garden across from the City Park. Chuck Lawson, Historical Society member, using his John Deere garden tractor with bucket, Hank Werger, neighbor, and Carol DeSotel, Historical Society member and caretaker of the Society’s Prairie Winds Garden, placed the design blocks along the edge of one of the flower beds in the garden.
Four architectural design pieces and the year 1922 (lying flat) are on display in the garden. If you look closely at the black and white picture of the school, you can see the large piece sat at the very top of the building. Right below was the year 1922. And below that the words “Public School” with the swirly designs on both sides. The hexagon piece was below each swirly design. Unfortunately, although the blocks with the words “public school” were saved during the salvage process, they were damaged with letters missing and so will not be displayed in the garden.
The Garnavillo Historical Society is grateful to the Bacons for their gift, and to our laborers for getting the heavy concrete pieces in place to preserve that bit of Garnavillo History.