Braving the massive heat wave that descended upon us in record breaking form, I ignored the heat and traveled 150 miles and 83 years to the 100th year that Onion Creek School District has educated the area children. It was Saturday, June 27 and it was hot.
The 150 miles represented the distance I traveled to get there. The 83 years represents the time that has passed since my Mother, Nina Huseland taught all eight grades in a one room school house. Her first school was Lead Point, a mining town that like many others is now a ghost town. But still standing is the school she taught at in 1929. Her stint at Onion Creek as the school year 1932-33. But I digress.
Arriving at Onion Creek School after 3 hours of hot pavement, the campus opened up to over 100 former students, teachers and former school board members. Choosing to call their own shots, School District 30, has only one school. Still in the spirit of the plethora of the one room school, the original school building, having been added to and supplemented to by a large modernistic building next to the original, as well as a free standing office building. Even the original teacher's cottage is still in use as the Kindergarten.
An Unfortunate mix-up caused me not to be introduced, which would have then made possible for those that remembered Mom, or members of those families such as the prolific Lotze family, of which Emma Lotze taught a few years after Nina Huseland and during her one year at Onion Creek, mentored her. Gone was the opportunity for each to meet, but the confusion was not purposeful, and must be considered an unfortunate omission. But then, I won't be around for the next centennial, a missed opportunity. In a search for the ultimate rural school, this certainly would be a candidate for such designation.
Many were honored for their service to the school over the years. Current and past school board members were introduced along with several large families that produced students over the long history of Onion Creek. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris and many others sent congratulations. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned on writing this or would have done some interviews. But I did hear some disappointment that the Spokesman-Review hadn't responded, possibly because nobody told them. As a former correspondent, I felt it my duty to pinch hit.
Lunch was served on a donation basis and music provided by local artists. A great time was had by all, and the several large families that are from them thar hills had a monster reunion. In attempting to find the elusive 1933 student, I missed by only 2 years as one lady announced she was class of 1935.