Dunning-1The year is 1876, and a new public school has been built in Champlin on a corner of farmland donated by John Dunning.   You are a student in the first class that year, and these are some of the current events you are studying.

Some fellow by the name of Alexander Bell is trying to obtain a patent on a device he calls the telephone.  Ulysses S. Grant is finishing his second term in the White House.

Your literature class is reading a new book, recently published by a man from Missouri.   The author’s name is Mark Twain, and the book is titled Tom Sawyer.    On the playground, the sports talk centers on the newly formed professional baseball group called the National League.Last Class

The big news of the year deals with General Custer’s
ill-fated encounter with the Sioux Chief Sitting Bull as the Little Bighorn.  

Locally, there is frightening news as you walk to and from Dunning school, and recess under the oaks.   In September of this year, Jesse James and his gang attempted a bank robbery in Northfield.  The surviving members fled this failed attempt in a hail of bullets.  They are now rumored to have taken refuge in the “Big Woods” of Champlin.

Dunning School was in operation from 1876 through 1947.  After 1947, the building served as the Champlin Township hall.  The structure was vacated in 1971, when the Champlin Township and Village combined and gained the status of a City.  The Brooklyn Historical Society restored and refurbished the school in 1973.  In 2004 many needed repairs were done. These repairs included a new foundation, roof and wiring.

FoundationStill standing on its original site, Dunning School is now the property of the City of Champlin.