The above building is the Gymnasium of the original Albion State Normal School, which was established by an Act of the Idaho Legislature in 1893 as a result of petitions from the people of the town of Albion. Land was donated to the state and volunteer labor from the town was used in constructing the first building.
Throughout the years, most of Albion Normal School’s students were drawn from the farms and small towns of the surrounding counties. From the school’s inception, it was decided by the supporters that it should be strictly in the business of training interested and able persons to be teachers in Idaho’s growing society, and offered a two-year degree. Nevertheless, many students used Albion as a “stepping stone” to other fields of endeavor or other schools.
Enrollment and state funding dropped off during the depression. In 1947, in an effort to expand its mission, the name of the Albion State Normal School was changed to Southern Idaho College of Education when it was granted accreditation as a four-year institution. During its 57 years the school graduated 6,460 teachers.
But, unfortunately the legislature pulled its support from Abion in favor of a school in Pocatello and so in 1951, over the strong objections of the citizens of Albion, the school was closed. Subsequently, most of it remained vacant until 1957, when Magic Valley Christian College occupied it until 1969. Later, our building was used as a Senior Center. In early 2007 all the buildings were auctioned. The majority of the campus has become a conference and reunion center, known as Albion Campus Retreat and the "Haunted Mansions of Albion" each Halloween season.
We, Chad and Susan Manderscheid, bought the Teacher's Training Center building in 2007. Chad has since spent most of the succeeding years doing much of the remodeling himself with assistance from local craftsmen. Recently, Alumni and family reunions have been held here, and some of the graduates toured the converted Teacher Training building. They expressed amazement at the quality of the restoration work Chad has accomplished.
History of the Albion State Normal School
Swanger Hall - 1895
burned down in 1947
Albion Campus Retreats' Miller Hall