Marine alumni will gather before planned closure

The historic school in Marine on St. Croix, pictured here, is depicted on one side of a commemorative coin being given to alumni of the school. (Photo courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society)

The family names of generations of Marine on St. Croix residents line the ice hockey rink at Marine Elementary school. On May 26, about 300 Marine alumni, community members and former teachers are expected to attend the Goodbye Gathering of Marine Elementary School, because the school is slated to close at the end of the school year.

“We put out an e-vite targeting alumni students,” said event organizer and school secretary Lisa Weyrauch. “We are also hoping for past staff to attend — it will be like a giant reunion of sorts.”

One guest they are hoping will attend is a 99-year-old former kindergarten teacher who taught at Marine for 30 years.

“We collected photos from the last 20 years that will be playing on a slideshow,” Weyrauch said.

The event will include cake, and the Scandia-Marine Lions Club will have its food wagon with items for sale for a donation.

“The event will include a ceremonial last walk through of the building, and as each family leaves they will receive a commemorative coin,” Weyrauch said.

Weyrauch had the idea of having a commemorative coin made to mark the closing of the school and to celebrate 165 years of education in Marine.

“Marine had the first school in Minnesota and the old school house is still standing in Marine,” Weyrauch said.

The coin features an image of the original school house on one side of the coin and an image of the current school building on the opposite side.

“We had 300 coins made and we will keep a register of the people who received a coin to keep track of them,” Weyrauch said. “One coin will go into a time capsule during the 150th anniversary of the Washington County Historic Courthouse, and one coin will go to the Washington County Historical Society.”

Other items on display at the Marine Goodbye Gathering include a collection of props and costumes from past sixth-grade plays and yearbooks and class photos going back to 1969.

The Marine Elementary Goodbye Gathering will take place 3:15-5 p.m. May 26. Marine Elementary is located at 550 Pine St. in Marine on St. Croix. Two other elementary school slated for closure will also have community gatherings.

Oak Park Elementary will have a community open house 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 20. All Oak Park alumni and former staff are invited. Oak Park Elementary is located at 6355 Osman Ave. N. in Stillwater.

Withrow Elementary is hosting a Withrow School family and community farewell walk-through 3:30-5:30 p.m. May 24. Withrow Elementary is located at 10158 122nd St. N. in Hugo.

Contact Alicia Lebens at alicia.lebens@ecm-inc.com

  • PonyParent

    Hopefully the special guest can make it! I’ll bet she remembers a bunch of her kids’ names, too!
    I didn’t know Marine was the first school in MN, the MN Historical Society gives that claim to Fort Snelling. (And the places down stream, like the old Point Douglas school, I though were older.) Interesting.