Ripon’s historic Little White Schoolhouse was successfully moved to a new location on Monday – though not without controversy. Republican Party of Fond du Lac County Chairman Timothy Bachleitner said a more appropriate location could have been found.
“It’s about setting, it’s about atmosphere,” he explained. “What the State Historical Society and the National Historical Society wants to see happen is that these landmarks are preserved in their original field conditions.”
According to a letter from the Wisconsin Historical Society, the move of the building known as “Birthplace of the Republican Party” may have led to its delisting as a National Historic site.
“There are plenty of places in the community that this could have been put and it would have retained its status, it would have stayed a landmark it just would have taken a little bit of work from the entities that have been involved in this move,” said Bachleitner.
Bachleitner said at a meeting of the State Historical Society last fall he pointed out moving the schoolhouse would violate some national standards.
Ripon Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mandy Kimes said the delisting of the Schoolhouse as a National Historical site because of its move came as a surprise to Chamber officials. Kimes said they did due diligence and received approval from the Wisconsin Historical Society to remain on the State Registry, expecting the National Park Service to follow suit with the national designation.
Kimes said the Chamber learned in late March the move could lead to delisting, but had no previous notification it was even being considered. She said they are appealing the decision.
Bob Nelson, Hometown Broadcastng