The building was originally located at 218 Madison and map code 131 on the DOT map is the original location. The building served as Burlington's school until 1856. Various Protestant groups used this building as their meeting place from time to time. The Burlington Historical Society saved the building from demolition in the early 1980s and moved it to Schmaling Park.
The first school in Burlington began operating in the summer of 1838 in a non-extant sixteen-foot square log cabin on the west side of Pine Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Mill Street. The following year, classes were held in a non-extant building on the north side of the White River in present-day Echo Veterans Memorial Park. Also that year, a brick one-room schoolhouse was constructed at 218 Madison Street and opened in 1840. For unknown reasons, however, classes were suspended at the end of that year until 1842. In 1855, the Burlington Education Society was formed and resumed teaching primary, middle, and senior classes in the brick schoolhouse on Madison Street. The building was used until 1859, when the public school relocated to the Burlington Union School on Kane Street.
During its early history, the school was also used as a Presbyterian church. After the school’s closing and with continued interior alterations, the building went on to be used as a place of worship, warehouse, home, and repair shop. In 1985, the Burlington Historical Society purchased the building, moved it the following summer to Schmaling Park at 449 Beloit Street, and restored the building to its original configuration as a one-room schoolhouse. It was dedicated as Whitman School in 1988, named after the building’s subsequent and longtime owners, and is used by the Historical Society for educational programs