Built in 1876, the two-room school at South 8th St. and Kentucky Avenue, was a primary and intermediate grade school for two generations, and then became the city’s first kindergarten. In 1918, it was converted to a “fresh air school”, a new concept, providing education and nourishing meals for children with tuberculosis, until 1932.
The Victorian Italianate schoolhouse, designed by Arvin L. Weeks, 19th century Sheboygan architect, was cited by Sheboygan County Landmarks Ltd. in 1975. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. In 1983 a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation provided funds for a feasibility study to restore the building as a Sheboygan Area School District “living school museum”.
The Sheboygan County community successfully raised over $350,000 for the preservation/restoration project. In May 1993, the Third Ward School was rededicated HERITAGE SCHOOL. Since the 1993-1994 school year, community grade 4 students have experienced a first hand, curriculum based living-history program.