Schoolhouse Saturday – the Independence School

Around 1864, the first school in the Fort Lupton area began in an abandoned log cabin, that had a cellar where the children and their teacher could hide in the case of an Indian attack.  A new log school house was pieced together in 1867, using whatever materials the farm families could find.  In 1875, the school was moved to a second log structure.

First named the “Acorn Academy” by the school children, the school name was changed to the Independence School sometime between 1890 and 1893.  The first teacher was Mr. John Perry, whom the ranchers and farmers had difficulty finding funds to pay in the first years of the school.

In January of 1900, population had grown significantly and it was voted upon to build a new brick school house that still stands today just south of Fort Lupton.

Prior to the schools relocation to its current location, the school was converted into a two room home, after which it became a house for migrant workers before eventually being left vacant.  The Watada family donated the school to the South Platte Valley Historical Society in 1998 and it was moved seven miles north to where it still sits today.  It has been restored with the help of a Colorado State Historical Fund Grant, and today the school is open for historical events and classes.  Since 2000, children, ages 7 to 16,  have had to opportunity to attend historical school sessions and learn what it was like to attend a school in the 1800s.

Independence School - 1875-1900

                                                          Independence School – 1875-1900

Until the next adventure….


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