Facelift for Ranchester’s “Little Blue School”

This past summer the ‘Little Blue School” in Ranchester received a new coat of white paint and some repairs were done by the Ranchester-Dayton Rotary Club.

A little history of the school. In the early 1900s, families living on the upper part of Five Mile Flat were some distance from the Ohlman School, and it was a long ride for the youngsters on horseback. The families decided to build a school closer to where they lived.

Pete Hager, Ranchester, talked about the early days of the school.

Pete Hager

In 1902, they build The Owens school, also known as the Little Blue School, and it operated until 1949. In 1988, the Little Blue School, although no longer used, did not collapse into a pile of dusty boards.

Pete Hager looks at some of the repairs being started on the school

Several people in the Parkman-Dayton-Ranchester area became interested in moving the school and restoring it in the period. The school was moved and set up on the grounds of the Tongue River Elementary school in Ranchester.

Needing New Paint (Kilbride photo)

In 1990, the restored Little Blue School was dedicated as an official Wyoming Centennial project. It was presented to the School District #1 School Board and is recognized as a symbol of living history serving to preserve the legacy of the one-room rural schools which played a part in Wyoming’s history and shows the commitment early Wyoming settlers had to educating their children.

Work progresses (Kilbride Photo)

New Paint Job

Later, the school was repainted in blue, and for many years it was blue in color. Today the school is now white again, with touches of blue.


  1. My dad Robert Murdock (known as Bobby when he was younger), went to that school. My sister bought a desk that was in that school probably when dad went there! How exciting to see such a beautiful part of history brought back time life!!

  2. It looks terrific! Many thanks to those who did the work.
    My Dad and his 5 brothers attended the Little Blue School in the 1920’s. Was there for the dedication when it was moved to Ranchester.

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