Visiting Hours: Opening May 2023

1074 W Fond Du Lac Street

Ripon, WI 54971


to our Museum


Become a "Friend" of The Little White Schoolhouse!

Each year the Little White Schoolhouse hosts education visits by school children who are given hands-on experience by professional teachers with primary education in a one-room school of the Midwestern prairies. It also receives thousands of visitors from all over the country who are met by highly trained docents able to relate the story of the creation of the Republican Party as well as the nature of education in the one-room schoolhouses of pioneer days. A small museum provides exhibits related to both pioneer education and the history of the Republican Party.

While the School benefits from the support of many volunteers in the community it still requires a significant budget to stay open and to provide its array of educational services. Part of the funds it needs is raised through the sale of souvenirs, but this is insufficient to cover costs. No financial help is sought or received from the Republican Party or from any governmental source. Hence, help is sought from ordinary citizens to support this symbol of the power of active citizenship through joining the “Friends of the Ripon Little White Schoolhouse” organization. “Friends” may contribute at any of the six annual giving levels listed below. The Founders level represents the year of the founding of the Republican Party and the other five levels are named after the five Ripon citizens who were elected to become the organizing committee for the Republican Party in Ripon.


$10,000 and above

$5,000 to $9,999

$2,500 to $4,999 – Bovay was the leader of the national movement to create a new party to fight slavery.

$1,000 to $2,499 – Bowen was Bovay’s chief supporter and a Democrat at the time.

$500 – $999 – Loper was a leader in the local Whig Party at the time, and Bovay’s other chief supporter.

$100 to $499 – Woodruff was an original member of the Wisconsin Phalanx, a communalist organization central to the founding of Ripon.

Up to $99 – Thomas was a model citizen active in all aspects of his community’s development.

Be a Part of History!

If you want to make a donation to support The Little White Schoolhouse, we would be very grateful – your support is welcome!

Your generosity will help preserve our treasured landmark that is The Birthplace of the Republican Party.

Little White Schoolhouse has been designated an National Historic Landmark

To mail your donation, kindly send check or money order to the following address: Birthplace of the Republican Party • P.O. Box 305 • Ripon, Wisconsin 54971

Thank You for your kindness!

The “Little White Schoolhouse” in Ripon, Wisconsin is of major symbolic importance to both the citizens of Ripon and the nation as a whole. For Ripon, it was the focal point of the most dramatic and important event in its history when, in an extraordinarily bipartisan moment, local members of all three major political parties in the country – Whigs, Democrats, and Free Soilers met in this little schoolhouse to form the Republican Party as a movement to overthrow slavery in America. Their success points to the fact that in America, even small groups of active and determined citizens can accomplish great things. But the Schoolhouse is also an important symbol of America’s early commitment to free and universal primary education. For it is only with such education that ordinary people gain the self confidence and moral courage necessary to be the active citizens needed for a democratic republic to succeed. Ripon’s “Little White Schoolhouse” is open daily during the summer and by appointment at other times.