The opening of the Crow Indian Reservation to homesteaders brought settlers to this area who founded the town of Absarokee in 1893. School District #52 was created and by 1903, a log cabin with a potbelly stove served the town’s first children. In 1910, the nearby two-room Sandstone School was built for elementary students, but as the town grew, it soon had need of a high school. Although Absarokee’s high school district was the smallest in the state, the town had high hopes and great determination. Residents joined forces holding dances, bazaars, and bake sales to raise funds. A $20,000 bond issue was established and the work progressed. With cobbles gathered from nearby fields and riverbeds, the school was built on donated land with volunteer labor. W. R. Plew, an engineer at Montana State University at Bozeman who promoted appropriate designs in rural schools, is credited with the plans. Finished in 1921, the Cobblestone School was fully accredited with three full-time teachers. The first five students graduated in the spring of 1922. Pupils came from as far away as Limestone and Nye, 45 miles distant, boarding with local families during the winter months. An outstanding example of a simple school built with locally available materials, the building remained in use as a high school until 1990. Most of its original woodwork and fixtures remain intact. The Cobblestone School and its companion Sandstone School are landmark examples of the importance of public education to rural communities and of Absarokee’s commitment to its children.

Images

Map

142 South Woodard Avenue, Absarokee, Montana ~ Public