Located one mile northeast of New Helena, Nebraska, the New Helena one-room schoolhouse, built in 1888-89, held classes until 1964. That year, the school closed when the Anselmo-Merna Consolidated district was formed.
New Helena was the first town in the area. They began organizing a school district in 1876 and were the first district in Custer County to file organization papers. However, for some reason, a protest was filed against the district's formation, which delayed the action. As a result, new Helena became Custer County District #2, missing out on becoming the first district in the county.
Since the schoolhouse was an important part of Custer County's history, the community raised funds to purchase the school when it went to auction in the fall of 1964. It was donated to the Parks and Game Commission and is now part of the Victoria Springs State Recreational Area.
Copyright 2021 Susan Rissi Tregoning
July 29th, 2021
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