August 5, 2017 - We stayed close to home for today's adventure, visiting the San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse, which is only about nine miles away. San Timoteo Canyon has been a route of travel for thousands of years. Local Indians used the canyon to travel between the San Bernardino Valley and the desert regions to the east for trade. This pattern continued with the influx of Europeans and Americans in the 1800s. Just after San Bernardino was founded by the Mormons in 1851, non-Mormons began to settle in San Timoteo Canyon by setting up ranches. Obviously one of the amenities that was needed was a school, and from the 1850s to the 1880s, schooling in the area was conducted in barns, adobes, and even just out in the open. However, by the early 1880s the residents of the area wanted something better for their children. In 1882 John Frink donated some land and Eugene Vandeventer began construction on the schoolhouse. Using all Douglas Fir (which indicates that the wood probably came from the San Bernardino Mountains), Vandeventer built a moderate sized building consisting of a main room for instruction and two anterooms in the front. The building was complete by late 1882. The San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 26, 2001.
Girls entered on the left side of the building, which was their coatroom. Boys entered on the right.
This is the boys coatroom showing the exterior door to the front of the building.
This is the girls coatroom showing a more historically accurate representation of how it looked.
This picture was taken shortly after the school opened.
The main instruction room is very large with high ceilings and large windows.
This would be a typical days schedule, running from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with an hour for lunch and two recess periods.
The three "double desks" on the left are the originals, dating back to 1882. Each chair leg was fastened to wooden sleds so they could be easily moved for dances or other community meetings or events that may occur.
Instruction was provided for grades one through eight. The teacher would test the students in both mathematics and English at the beginning of the school year. Based on the student's level of proficiency, the teacher would then assign each to a particular grade. First graders, who wouldn't be expected to know how to read and write, would be placed in the first row of seats, which didn't have a desk in front of them.
It's amazing that this building is 135 years old and still at its original location.
For lunch we drove over to Cherry Valley to dine at The Grand Oak. It was a beautiful day so we ate outside next to the lavender fields. I had their penne pasta with a Bolognese sauce and Judy had their "Grand Oak Burger" with provolone cheese. It was a very relaxing day.
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