The Little White Schoolhouse
Built in 1853
History of the Birth of the Republican Party
This simple frame schoolhouse, built in 1853, holds a powerful history. In the Little White Schoolhouse a decision made by a small group of Ripon citizens changed the course of our nation’s history.
A meeting in this simple, one story clapboard and frame schoolhouse on March 20, 1854, and another in Jackson, Michigan, on July 6, to protest passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which permitted the extension of slavery beyond the limits of the Missouri Compromise, drew dissatisfied Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. These meetings were the first of those that led to the formation of the Republican Party.
The birth of this party brought a dedicated following of individuals who pledged to organize together and fight against the spread of slavery. Ripon Wisconsin's Little White Schoolhouse was designated a National Historic Site in 1974.
Admission is FREE!
The Little White Schoolhouse is open for visitors throughout the year. Open daily from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Open weekends, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday through the month of September. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you would like to visit the school during the fall, or winter season, contact the Ripon Chamber of Commerce at (920) 658-5974 to arrange for a tour.
Guided Group Tours:
Tours are available for groups or school classes. We can arrange for a presentation about the school and its history to fit your age group or interest: Political history, the history of one room schools in Wisconsin or about the founding of Ripon and the people who lived and settled Ripon during the middle of the 19th century.
For group tours a minimum of $25 would be charged.