Schoolhouse Saturday – the Fruita Schoolhouse

Prior to Elijah Cutler Behunin donating land for a school in 1896, classes had been held for two years.  The first school teacher was twelve year old Nettie Behunin who taught the children of the eight families living in Junction, Utah, in the Behunin home.  Her first class had 22 students that included three of her siblings.  A peaked, shingled roof was added to the building in 1912 or 1913 and the interior walls were plastered in 1935.

The Fruita Schoolhouse as it appeared in the 1930s.

The Fruita Schoolhouse as it appeared in the 1930s.

Eight grades were taught the “three-R’s” at the one room school and if a teacher had enough textbooks and felt qualified, then other subjects such as geography were added.  In 1900, the first county approved classes were taught by then 22 year old Nettie, the first authorized teacher.  She was paid $70 a month compared to her male counterparts who received $80.  The school was closed due to a lack of students in 1941.

In 1964, the National Park Service nominated the school to the National Register of Historic Places and restored the structure to how it appeared in the 1930s.  Today, the school still stands in its original location and those that take the time to stop and peek through the windows can, with a little imagination, reflect on what school was like in a time when the classroom wasn’t ruled by computers and white boards….listen carefully, you might still be able to hear the old school bell ring.

Until the next adventure…

Schoolhouse Saturday – the Old Bailey School

Built in 1907, the old Bailey School is one of the last remaining one-room log schoolhouses still standing in Michigan.  It bears the name of a lumberman who was part of the crew that built the school and supervised moving it to a new site in 1913 where it continued to serve the community until 1941.  After the school closed, students were transported to Oscoda Schools.   Partially restored in 1973 by the Mikado Township, the Old Bailey School was disassembled, moved and restored in 1998 to its current site in Alcona County.

I wish the building would have been opened when I visited as the interior has been furnished with items used during it’s time, including desks, a drinking pail and dipper, coal stove, blackboard, books, and a recitation bench.  The original school bell still sits on the building’s roof waiting to summon children to their lessons.

 

The old Bailey School

The old Bailey School

The Alcona Historical Society holds an annual Log Cabin Day and Strawberry Social at the school on the last Sunday in June.

 

Until the next adventure….

 

Schoolhouse Saturday – Unknown School

It’s fun to go out exploring.  Taking the road less traveled, instead of staying on the freeway, allows me to really see all the beauty that our country has to offer.  As an added bonus, I suspect there are very few one room schools located right of the interstate (although, I have managed to find a few this way).  While traveling through Idaho on the way to Utah, I saw a road named School House Rd.  Now, I’ve learned that if I am looking for a covered bridge, I should look for a road called Covered Bridge Rd (or Ave, or Lane…..you get the idea).  I’ve also turned down some other roads that have been named School House Rd and have been lucky enough to find a school on a couple of them.  I decided to turn the car around and explore down School House Rd to see, if by chance, there was an old school down it.  It wasn’t long before I spotted a building in the distance, and sure enough, as I drove the car closer, there was a school sitting there on the corner.

Historic Idaho School

                                                                 Historic Idaho School

As of yet, I haven’t been able to find any information on this school (I’ll update this post if I do). It appears to be in pretty good shape, and there were signs of some restoration work taking place.  It just goes to show, you never know what you are going to find when you take the road less traveled.

Until the next adventure….

Schoolhouse Saturday – the Lower Fern Ridge School

Built prior to 1890, the Lower Fern Ridge School is the last standing building from the historic town of Alvadore.  The school has been relocated to the Camas County Mill in Eugene, Oregon, preserving this one room school for future generations.  One of the graduates, Lew Bailey, is still around and has told of the names of school kids written in graphite under the coat racks that are still visible.

Tim and Sue Hunton , owners of the Camas County Mill, purchased the school from a generous neighbor, saving it from a new life as scrap wood.  They moved the schoolhouse across fields and over a creek to its new home on the Hunton’s Farm.

Lower Fern Ridge School

Lower Fern Ridge School

Until the next adventure….

Schoolhouse Saturday – the Camas (La Camas) School

Built prior to 1882, the first Camas School in Clark County, Washington, was replaced by a four room school with indoor plumbing in 1886.  The first school remained on the grounds of the new school until 1907, when the the Columbia River Paper Company gave the Boy Scouts permission to relocate the school to their property where it still stands today.  It was used as a scout meeting place until 1934, when the new owners of the mill, Crown Willamette Paper Company, donated land for a park.  Today the school is used primarily for city youth activities.

The Camas (La Camas) School - Clark County, Washington

The Camas (La Camas) School – Clark County, Washington

 

Until the next adventure….

Schoolhouse Saturday – the Springdale School

I keep seeing “Waterfall Wednesday” or “Throwback Thursday” all over the web these days, so I decided to try something new with this blog and start “Schoolhouse Saturday”, where I hope to post a new photo of a historic school that I have found every Saturday – since I’m not the best at updating my blog, this will be a challenge in itself.  I love finding old schools for a couple of reasons – 1) it takes me back to a simpler time when there wasn’t all the gadgetry that is around today; 2) my mom went to three different one room schools growing up (and they are all still standing, unlike the majority of one room schools that once dotted the landscape); and, probably the best reason 3) looking for old schools gets me off of the main roads (though I have found some right along the highways) and out exploring the lesser visited areas of our country.

The first school I’m going to share is the Springdale School located in Camas County, Idaho.  This was a surprise find as I was taking the “scenic” route to Utah for vacation with my mom.  A passing glance showed this building on the horizon, which resulted in turning the car around and going back to investigate (my car is getting quite adept at making u-turns for some reason).

Springdale School - Camas County, Idaho

Springdale School – Camas County, Idaho

As you can see from this photo, the bell is missing from the Springdale School.  It is currently residing at the only school left in Camas County.  Back when it was still at the Springdale School, it was an important piece of the school, essential for prompt attendance by the area kids.  The Springdale School was established shortly before the beginning of World War I and provided an education to the students of Camas County until the consolidation of schools around the time of World War II, when snowplow technology and buses made it easier for the kids to go to school, thus bringing an end to the majority of one room schools.  As it’s days of providing and education ended, the Springdale School began a new life as an equipment shed for the ranch next door.

Springdale School - Camas County, Idaho

Springdale School – Camas County, Idaho

Until the next adventure….

Guy Hill Schoolhouse

I spent this past weekend in Colorado searching for old schools and photographing the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer event at the Frisco Nordic Center in Frisco, Colorado (more on that amazing event once I go through all of the images).

The Guy Hill Schoolhouse was built in 1876 – the same year Colorado became a state! It was originally located in Golden Gate Canyon before being relocated to the Clear Creek History Park in downtown Golden, Colorado. Not only did the school provide an education in grades 1 – 8, it also served as a community center for an occasional dance, meetings, and church services. The school was named for Guy Hill, which was named for John C. Guy, an early homesteader in Guy Gulch.  The school closed in 1951.

Guy Hill Schoolhouse at the Clear Creek History Park in Golden, Colorado

Guy Hill Schoolhouse at the Clear Creek History Park in Golden, Colorado

 

Until the next adventure….

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes – Grecia, Costa Rica

Grecia (Spanish for “Greece”) is located in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica and is home to Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy), a church made entirely of pre-fabricated metal steel plates that have been painted a deep red.

The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

Urban legends abound about the church and how it came to be built in Grecia. One such legend recounts how the church was donated for a foreign county and was supposed to be sent to Greece as a gift, but was erroneously shipped to Grecia. Another legend infers that the final destination was supposed to be Punta Arenas, Chile, but was unloaded by mistake in Puntarenas, Costa Rica where it was later transported to the city of Grecia and assembled.  However, the chances of it arriving in Puntarenas by mistake are quite slim, especially when you consider that when the materials arrived in Costa Rica between 1892-93, the Panama Canal hadn’t been built yet, which means that in order for it to have arrived in Puntarenas, it would have had to ship around Cape Horn, South America, an unneccesary and costly journey; the Port of Limón would have been a more logical choice for offloading.  Also, the railway between Puntarenas and San Jose wasn’t completed until 1910.

The real history of the Our Lady of Mercy church is no less glamorous than the urban legends.  Around 1840, the town of Grecia had a small adobe chapel with a thatched roof.  As the town grew, so did the need for a larger church.  Construction began on a new wooden church (at the site where the metal church sits today) in 1844 and was completed by the end of 1847.  A brick floor was installed in 1835 and the thatched roof was replaced with tejas (Spanish barrel tiles made from clay).  A few years later a tower was added.  In 1872, the church was severely damaged by fire and plans were made to convert the church to a masonry structure as it was believed to be indestructible by fire.  By 1888, the new structure was nearing completion when a devastating earthquake shook the town, damaging the towers and partially destroying the sanctuary.

Altar at Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

Altar at Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

In 1890 the locals sought the counsel of the second bishop of Costa Rica, Bishop Thiel, who suggested using “new technology” by building an earthquake proof church of metal.  In 1891, a contract was signed with Dresse Aux Ateliers de la Societe de Couvillet, a Belgian firm that specialized in metal structures.

The first pieces of metal arrived at the Port of Limón in 1892 on two cargo ships – the Rock Hampton of England and the Turquoise of France.  The materials were then transported via rail from the Port of Limón to Alajuela.  Upon arriving in Alajuela, the materials and supplies were transferred to ox carts and wagons to make the final 21 kilometer journey to Grecia.  Each trip took approximately one week and, at times, 7 yoke of oxen (14 oxen) were needed to pull the heavy loads across the rugged terrain.

With the exception of the windows and doors (these weren’t sent with the rest of the materials from Belgium), the church was completed in December of 1897.  Doors and window frames were ordered in 1911 from Clement Casa Constructtore in Ferro Prada, Milan, Italy.  Hand painted and blown glass windows were also acquired in Italy.

Church-of-Our-Lady-of-Mercy-Pipe-Organ

Stained glass from Italy and an 1886 German pipe organ in Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

 

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Windows ordered from Italy to complete the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Church of Our Lady of Mercy) in Grecia, Costa Rica

 

Until the next adventure….

 

 

Elgin Schoolhouse (1922-1967)

The Elgin Schoolhouse, located in eastern Nevada, provided an education for several generations of school children in grades one through eight from 1922 through 1967.  It was built by Reuben Bradshaw, the son of James Bradshaw, whom homesteaded a ranch in 1880 at the lower end of Rainbow Canyon.  Until 1903, there weren’t a large numbers of children in the area until the Salt Lake, San Pedro, and Los Angeles Railroad was built through Rainbow Canyon.  Small communities then sprung up every five miles or so, wherever there was a “siding” – a stop for trains and passengers.  Some of the larger sidings were home to small depots were passengers could board or leave the train or get a hot meal.

Prior to the construction of the Elgin Schoolhouse, the closest school to the ranches in Rainbow Canyon, the nearest school was in Panaca, about 36 miles north of Elgin.  Since wagons were the only means of transportation, and the ranches were too far away from Panaca to transport the children for school each day, the children were home-schooled either at the individual ranches or neighboring ranches.  The “Bullionville” school district was established in 1890 about five miles below Kershaw Canyon, but this school was still too far away for wagons from the lower end of Rainbow Canyon.

The Elgin Schoolhouse

The Elgin Schoolhouse

In 1921, funds were available for a schoolhouse in Elgin, one of the larger sidings along the railroad.  James Bradsha donated seven acres of his ranch for the building and his son built the school.  An addition to the building was built two years later to provide a small apartment for the teacher to live in.

The schoolhouse was last used in 1967, when the last student reached the eighth grade.  By then, school buses had been picking up the students and transporting them to schools in Panaca and Caliente.

It became a State Historic Site in July 2005 and is part of the Nevada State Parks system.  Currently, the schoolhouse is closed to the public for an indeterminate period of time as of May 2008 due to the road being heavily damaged by flooding.  It is possible to drive the road to the school (though it is rough in spots and there is one small water crossing).

 

Until the next adventure….

Not Much Remains…Weatherby, Oregon

Located about nine miles southeast of Durkee, Oregon, lies the unincorporated community of Weatherby in Baker County. Other than a rest area for travelers traveling along Interstate 84, there’s not much left. In 1862, there was a post office named Express Ranch, a Wells Fargo stage station, a stop over for stagecoaches during the gold mining boom in the county. C.W. Durkee was the first postmaster (probably where the town of Durkee got it’s name).  The Sisley Toll Road (what, I now believe is the Sisley Creek Road) was built in 1863, from Weatherby to connect with the Old’s Ferry toll Road to the Snake River.  In 1879, the Express Ranch was moved 10 miles south on the Burnt River to the property of Andrew J. Weatherby, resulting in the change of name. The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company established a Weatherby station on it’s line to Huntington.

Today, not much remains of Weatherby, Oregon.  Though, if you travel up Sisley Creek Road a ways (there are still a few residences there), you will find what remains of the old Weatherby School.

All that remains of the old Weatherby School.

All that remains of the old Weatherby School.

 

Until the next adventure….