by Mindy Dalgarn
Tucked in the hills of nearby Jo Daviess County is a one-room limestone schoolhouse built in 1859. Belden School served the children and the community until declining enrollment and consolidation forced its closure in 1943. For 61 years the school sat vacant, falling into disrepair.
A proposal was made to the Galena Territory Association as to how best preserve and utilize the schoolhouse and, in 2004, an energetic, tenacious and dedicated group of individuals from The Territory established the Belden School Restoration Committee.
Five years later, on a warm, sunny September day, members of the Restoration Committee welcomed 300 guests at the Sesquicentennial Celebration and Rededication Open House. Special guests included former Belden School students as well as Abraham Lincoln and General Grant. It was an afternoon of celebration!
To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the March 2018 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.