Saturday, August 18, 2012

Looking For Roots

My Son, Brian and I set out yesterday to check out two one-room school houses that my mother taught at years ago. She graduated with a two year degree from what was then Bellinham Normal School, which is what they called teacher's college back then. All a teacher needed back then for an elementary teacher's certificate was two years.

Her first job was at Onion Creek School, a self contained school district with just one school. It is located about half way between Colville and Northport, Washington by going up over the mountain toward Northport. Not only is the original one room school still existing along with the teacher's cottage.  Both are still in use.

After getting the grand tour by the custodian, we headed for Northport. Driving south on the Aladdin Road, we encountered another one room school building that was not in use on private property. It was originally the Deep Creek School, but after burning down twice in forest fires, it was rebuilt on the Doyle place and renamed the Doyle Deep Creek School. They in turn gave us directions to the Lead Point School which also is still in use as a kind of community center. We have an old picture of who we thought was Mom shoveling snow, but a closer look told us it wasn't her. A relative still living told us he graduated from the 8th grade there.

Heading for Spirit, we spotted the South Fork Grange Hall. That is where my mother and dad met. Back in those days and in farming communities it was where everyone met socially. There were no bars, unless you count my Dad's still, no restaurants and no theaters. Just back breaking hard work ... and the Grange hall.

Back to Aladdin Road, where we drove South about two miles. The Y between Aladdin Road and Deep Lake Road was the location of a little town called Spirit. The old Spirit School is still in use as a private residence. My Mom taught there after leaving Onion Creek. By that time my future Dad has his hook set and was reeling her in. The Spirit School was only four miles from the Mine Dad owned. She taught there about six years until pregnant with my older brother.

Finally heading south we hit Colville the round about way and headed back to Spokane where Brian lives with his wife, Jennifer, and three adorable daughters. He teaches Fourth Grade at Northwest Christian Academy, now located in Colbert, next to the high school.

The bottom two [ioctures are of the South Fork Grange where my Mom and Pop met and eventually married, lo those 82 years ago.

Three hundred -fifty miles later I was home in Bayview, tired but satisfied that I showed my son who is the family historian. a part of uor family history.

Pictures T -B Gunder Huseland's Homestead, Onion Creek School, Lead Point School, Spirit School, South Fork Grange.



Anonymous said...

Hello Herb,
I'm the guy that gave you and your son the "grand tour" of Onion Creek School. It was my pleasure meeting both of you and being able to share what I could about this wonderful school. I'm looking forward to see you again sometime.

Anonymous said...

Hi Herb, my husband and I are coming to Bayview this weekend, and in researching the area, I came upon your blog--imagine my surprise to find the comments and pictures from your visit to Onion Creek School this summer. I'm on our school board, and had heard a report from Hugh about your visit. We are preparing for our 100 year anniversary celebration (in 1915), and would love to have any information about your mother's time as a teacher here (e.g. her name, years she taught, and any other things she shared with you). And, of course, we'd love to have you and your family join us for the event, so please keep in touch! Elissa Dyson

Bay Views said...

Elissa. Please feel free to call me at 208-683-9107. I would enjoy meeting you while you are in my town. I doubt that I can top the great hospitlaity shown by Hugh and Joel plus the rest of the staff, but I'll certainly try.