With the school year in full swing, it is a great time to reflect on the history of education in Hennepin County. Stanley Hall was a Boarding and Day School for girls in Minneapolis during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s before closing its doors in 1928. The beautiful campus included buildings for classes and housing for boarding students. The education provided to the young girls of Minneapolis here was unmatched for the period.
Stanley Hall was a private school high school located at 2118-2122 Pleasant Ave in Minneapolis. While secondary education was the focus, the junior college program was popular which allowed students to complete their first two years of college at the school. Many students went onto all-female universities with similar rigor and prestige, including Wellesley, Smith, Vassar and Bryn Mawr. The teachers were dedicated to educating these students socially as well as academically. This brochure boasted that “the utmost of congeniality cannot help being a rule of life”. Students took classes in languages, literature, math science, music and physical education. Stanley Hall was famous in the Twin Cities for its emphasis placed on athletics, namely gymnastics. At the turn of the century, it was uncommon for women to receive any kind of post-secondary education, and even more unique to receive rigorous academic instruction. Stanley Hall was a leading institution for Minnesota in this respect.
While the Stanley Hall campus is now home to apartments, the education provided and the goals of the school should continue to be preserved. The Hennepin History Museum Archives has an extensive collection of artifacts from schools in Hennepin County. Come visit to learn more about your school!
Blog written by Bridget Jensen, Archive Volunteer

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