Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Eagle River, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the St. Peter’s Catholic School in Eagle River, Vilas County on the State Register of Historic Places on May 18, 2018.
St. Peter’s Catholic School was designed by Wisconsin Rapids architect Anton F. Billmeyer and opened in 1926. The school offered an elementary education coupled with religious instruction to the families in Eagle River and the surrounding area. St. Peter’s School is significant to the history of education as one of only four total schools in the County offering elementary education. This school was also significantly larger than the other three, and continued as a school, in some cases, decades longer than the others.
The era of school consolidation meant the closure of rural one-room schools which brought children into town to attend school. The construction of graded schools met this demand and St. Peter’s School, one of the largest graded schools in the County continued in active use through 2004, far outpacing the longevity of the other historic period graded schools. The St. Peter’s parish, which prioritized religion-based instruction, provided a high-quality education at St. Peter’s School for the families of the County.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.