Historic Teacher-Training School Now Hosts More Than Classes

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A lot of degrees were handed out on the site of the Albion Campus Retreat—more than 6,400. But today, you’re more likely to see people congregate than matriculate, and take wedding or family reunion photos instead of class pictures.

The former Albion State Normal School was constructed in 1893 and offered a two-year teacher-training program. It subsequently rebranded itself as a four-year college, first as Southern Idaho College of Education in 1947 and then Magic Valley Christian College a decade later, before closing for good in 1969. The boarded-up property was purchased by the Mortensen family in 2007, and its historic buildings were reimagined once again, this time as lodging and meeting spaces. 

The former men’s dormitory, Miller Hall, now functions as a hotel that can accommodate as many as 70 guests and includes a 600-square-foot meeting room. The President’s Cottage offers a full kitchen, private deck and hot tub for 16. Comish Hall, which once housed a bustling student cafeteria, now hosts day events for as many as 300 people.  

Albion Campus Retreat offers a wide variety of activities, both on- and offsite. On-site amenities include sand volleyball courts, horseshoes, croquet, a swimming pool and hot tub, a petting zoo, outdoor fire pits, an outdoor stage and the Albion Historical Museum, among others. Off-site activities include winter ski trips to Pomerelle Mountain, relaxing in the 104-degree waters of the Durfee Hot Springs and rock climbing at the City of Rocks. 

Invite three of your closest friends over to sample Boise Centre’s tasty cranberry martinis! (Serves 4)

—6 oz. gin
—1 cup cranberry juice
—Sliced fresh ginger
—Ginger ale
—Fresh cranberries, for garnish
—Rosemary sprigs, for garnish


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