Original School Board members, pictured from left, are (top row) treasurer Norman Schossow, vice chairman Arthur Erdmann, member Ralph Frick, Winona County Superintendent of Schools Jesse B. Jestus, (bottom row) clerk Robert McNally, chairman Alton Blumentritt and member Emil W. Pflughoeft.

Ridgeway Community Celebration Aug. 4


The annual Ridgeway Community Celebration will be held on Sunday, August 4, at Ridgeway Community School. This year’s free event will feature the dedication of a newly constructed school bell tower and recognition of Winona County Country Schools Superintendent Jesse B. Jestus and the original Ridgeway Elementary Independent School Board members. The event will also include the Robert Hass Memorial Tractor and Classic Car Show, numerous kids’ activities, refreshments and a pie auction. The event begins at 11 a.m.; those bringing tractors and classic cars are asked to have them in place by 10:30 a.m.

The children’s activities, which include inflatables, a barrel train, a petting zoo and wagon rides, will be taking place throughout the day. A pedal-tractor pull, beginning with the oldest peddlers, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Age groups for the pedal tractor pull will be nine and 10, seven and eight, five and six, and three and four year olds. All participants will receive ribbons and trophies will be given to the top three finishers in each age category. Ridgeway’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes will be selling refreshments throughout the day to support their three-day overnight field trip to Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.

A dedication of the newly constructed school bell tower will take place at 1:30 p.m. The tower was constructed with donations in memory of three long-time Ridgeway community members: Gorden Gerdes, Joan Hackbarth, and Emil “Bud” Pflughoeft. The tower has been constructed next to the school’s playground and park and will be used to signal the end of recess to Ridgeway Community School’s 125 students. Following the school-bell dedication there will be a short skit recognizing the work of Winona County Schools Superintendent Jesse B. Jestus and the unveiling of a plaque that will recognize the work of Jestus and the six members of the board of Ridgeway Independent School District #859. The Ridgeway School District formed in 1964 when eight, one-room country school districts voted to merge. The districts were Boynton, Bush, Ireland, Midway, Ridgeway, Upper Cedar Valley, and Whitlock. The new Ridgeway Elementary School building was designed by W-Smith Architects and constructed in 1965 for a total cost of $170,000. The six original board members who will be recognized at the August 4 program are Alton Blumentritt, Arthur Erdmann, Ralph Frick, Robert McNally, Emil W. Pflughoeft, and Norman Schossow. The Ridgeway School District merged with Winona Schools in 1971 and, in 2001, the elementary school converted to a free, public charter school authorized by Winona Area Public Schools. Ridgeway Community School will begin its 19th year of operation this fall.

Following these dedications there will be a live pie auction with Freddy Frickson as auctioneer at 2 p.m. The auction supports the costs of putting on the free event, as well as other community service projects throughout the year including the veterans and volunteer recognition luncheons. Everyone is invited to join in the fun by meeting up with your old friends and making some new ones!

Ridgeway Community School is located two miles east of the intersection of Interstate 90 and Minnesota Highway 76 on Winona County Road 12. For more information contact the school toll-free at 1-866-454-9566 or office@ridgewayschool.org; you may also visit the school’s website at www.ridgewayschool.org or its Facebook page.


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