tree       Acme School       tree

Many years ago, in the early 80's, a man named KATE came into the Upper Nooksack valley, staked a claim or a homestead, and built a two-room house. Later he found that he had made a mistake as to where his lines ran and had built his cabin on the GALBRAITH place. He vacated the house he had erected and later that "KATE" house, as it was called, became the first school house in Acme.

Miss HARRISON of Pennsylvania, was the first teacher employed there and she lived with her sisters, two children, Epp and Hattie PARK, in one room of the school house.

Epp PARK and Hattie PARK, Audley, Minnie and Naomi GALBRAITH, Dora and Mary CAIN and Maude McDANIELS were the first pupils taught at that school. The classes ran as high as the fourth reader.

Later school was held in a cabin on the CARTER place and Miss HARRISON taught a term or two there also.

The present school is a splendid building consisting of two rooms and carries all the grade work. Enrollment last year was 35. Miss Mildred DENNY is principal and teacher and Miss Esther McMeen is the other teacher.

The present school board is Claude DICKEY, president; Mrs. Will GALBRAITH, Mrs. Guy ELLSBREE, clerk.

There is also a roomy building on the school property which is used as a gymnasium and for giving plays and community school gatherings.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Bell Creek School       tree

The first school of the Bell Creek District No. 50 was held at a home on the old OWENS place, for Deming, Bell Creek and Welcome pupils. The first school house was built on the Denny BONNER place; six children attended at this time.

School was next held in the building which is now Welcome Grange hall. On account of snow and bad roads during the winter months, students were able to attend only in summer and early fall.

In the year 1910 a special tax was levied for expenses of the clearing of grounds for a school building. the state of Washington gave the bonds of $2,000 for building a new school house. The contract of building was awarded to W. C. GOBLE & Son, their bid being $1,613.00.

In 1923 Bell Creek and Welcome consolidated into District 321.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Blue Mountain School       tree

The first Blue Mountain school was built in 1892 - 38 long years ago, on what is known as the LARSON place, Miss BLANKENSHIP being the first teacher. $35 was the wages paid in those days and $10 of it went to pay their board and lodging. Those were the days when only a trail ran thru the timber and wild animals were plentiful. Little Lettie JORGENSEN, now Mrs. STEPHENS of Acme, nearly encountered a huge cougar on her way home from school. It killed three sheep before Jokum JENSSEN, who set traps and caught the cougar, but Lettie's father, Chris. JORGENSEN, finding it in the trap shot it. This is the same little girl, who at 3 years of age, was lost all one night in the mountains. The whole neighborhood turned out to search for her and found her at break of day unharmed and fast asleep way up on the very edge of a precipice.

In 1900 the school board secured an acre of ground from Mr. GORRIE, about a mile further south and the new Blue Mountain school was built - a fine building with a cozy cottage in the rear of the school for a teacherage. A number of good teachers have taught the young hopefuls in this beauty spot of Washington; many have gone out into homes of their own, an honor to the faithful teachers; some have been laid away beneath the sod, while their souls went to meet their God. We wish we knew all the names of both teachers and pupils who have attended there, but among those graduating from the eighth grade, known to us are, Irvine MONAGHAN and George SELDEN, who graduated in 1926 under Miss Ellen WRIGHT of Bellingham. Both are fine, manly boys, the kind to be proud of. Irvin (sic) graduated this year from the Mt. Baker high school. George SELDEN had to drop out of high school on account of failing eye-sight and hearing and is now doing linotype work in Seattle. In 1927 Helen DUNCAN, Georgia MONAGHAN, Russell SELDEN and Ethel SELDEN graduated from the eighth grade and all will finish high school next May excepting Helen DUNCAN, who is now Mrs. David STONE. Ethel SELDEN is an honor student in her class we hear, and about the youngest of the class. Miss Daisy DEAHL was their teacher and is still filling the position, starting on her fifth year at Blue Mountain the 2nd of September, where she and her three adopted little girlies love to gaze on the beauties of forest, mountain and streams.

Three more joined the ranks of high school this year: Patty MONAGHAN, Frankie SELDEN and Jeanie DEAHL, and Frankie no more can fall off the log while fishing at the noon hour and then wear some of Jeanie's clothes while his dry around the heater. Happy school days, how fast they come and go; dear little boys and girls of today, men and women of tomorrow. Our prayer for them is, God keep them pure and upright men and women, of noble characters, doing their best for God and home and native land.

We might add just a word, that the programs given at Christmas time, Halloween and Thanksgiving day, are enjoyed by all, as well as the community dinners and picnics.

Dicky DEE

From The Deming Prospector, September 5, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

      tree      Clipper School      tree

Clipper started its first school in a small one-room shack belonging to Mr. HOWFROT. Miss HARRISON was the first teacher and taught there in 1889. Children from Van Zandt also attended this school until 1891 or 1892 when a school was established at Van Zandt.

The present building at Clipper is a splendid frame building where two teachers are employed.

Forty children were enrolled last year, twelve of these were brought by bus from across the Nooksack river which flows through the district dividing it. Some of the twelve children just mentioned live within almost a mile from the school but because of a bridge being out of repair and therefore impassable, must be transported around through Van Zandt district and down to Clipper a distance of five or six miles.

Miss Harriet McDONALD and Miss Bernice PETERSON who taught last will teach again this term. It is expected that Clipper district will send twenty students to Mt. Baker Union High School this term.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Columbia Valley School       tree

Settlers began coming into what is now known as Columbia Valley early in 1889, and it soon became necessary to have a school for the children. The COLEMAN brothers donated an acre of land on which was erected a one-room split cedar shack about 1894 or 1895. Later a deed for the land was given by COLEMAN brothers to the school board. In 1913 a better building containing one room 25x40, also a cloak room, an entrance hall and a small room for manual training, was erected on the present location and continues to be used for school purposes. One bus is used to gather up the children of the district and Mrs. Ellen R. BARBER will teach this term. About 20 to 25 children attend Columbia Valley school.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Deming Grade School       tree

In the summer of 1888 Mr. MARSHALL erected a one-room log cabin on his place to serve as a home for his mother, who did occupy it for a while.

In order to get a school district organized, she gathered a handful of children, nine in all, of which three were her own and she taught them for a term of six months.

Then Prof. SHELTON taught them for another six months. Mr. SHELTON was a very large man and the school house was so small that is was often jokingly remarked that it was necessary for him to go out of doors when he wanted to turn around. The children attending this school all came from the families of squatters who had settled in the section before any surveying had been done.

A little later it was found necessary to change the location of the school in order to have it more centrally placed. It was decided that half way between MARSHALL's and the MACAULAY place would be about right.

School was therefore held for six months in a tent and was taught by Miss JOHNSON.

About that time the surveyors came in and after their work was accomplished they left an old cook house just across from where the Deming depot now stands.

Twelve children attended here and were taught by Miss Nellie HOPKINS, who now lives in Bellingham. These children were three from the MARSHALL family, three SPEES children, four GRIFFENs, one SIVIT and one TINKER child.

A school building being a real necessity the district voted bonds of $1,000 on which 10% interest was paid, to build a frame building where the Deming grade school now stands. Mr. MITCHELL have an acre of land to be used for school  purposes.

Between 1897 and 1899 the fame building just mentioned was split and spread apart and more was added in the center, thus enlarging the building.

In 1910 the present brick building was erected. About 65 children attend the present grade school.

Teachers for this year are, Miss Lois PEBLEY, Sophia ANDERSON and Lizziellen BELCHER.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Glacier School       tree

The first school in Glacier stood where Earl McLAUG[H]LIN's house now stands. Its first term was taught in a small shack 10x12 feet and only 7 children attended.

Logging operations and prospecting soon made Glacier a large settlement and a town hall was erected. School was then held in the town hall for two or three terms. Mr. BROOKS was one of the early teachers and taught as high as the fifth reader.

In 1910 a one-room building was built where the present school now stands and 13/18 children attended there. Then as population increased a large play shed was built and the school was divided and two teachers were employed.

About 1927 the school house was remodeled and an addition was made to accommodate two teachers. As hight as 30 pupils were attending at that time.

Another school was organized in the district about 15 years ago and school has been taught at the power plant since that time, to accommodate the children of the employees there.

When the logging camps removed it relieved the necessity of employing two teachers, and only one, Miss Doris BEATTY, will teach this year. The higher grade pupils will be transported to Maple Falls and it is planned to discontinue the school at the power plant and the children from there will be brought to Glacier this term.

Miss Eleanor BOURN was the first pupil to graduate from the Glacier school and she graduated alone in 1914.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Kendall School       tree

About 1890 when there were only a half dozen families in the territory around about where Kendall is now, a school was needed to accommodate the 10 or 11 children of those families.

J. B. HARDEMAN had built a store building on his property. As it had not yet been used for its original purpose it was decided to use it for a school house, and it was so used for several months while a building was being erected for a school.

Two young women, Miss Helen GLEASON and Miss UNDERWOOD had previously come into the neighborhood and had taken up a homestead across the river. Miss GLEASON being qualified, taught the children who attended that first school.

The men of the community got together and spent several days hewing out cedar logs, and the fall of that same year they built a one-room school house down on Kendall creek.

That school was used for many years. Later the road was moved further away from the creek and in 1900 a new frame building of two rooms was built about a quarter of a mile from the site of the log cabin school house. Here school was held until 1921 when the present school house was erected.

This building consists of two large rooms and two ante-rooms. Two buses bring in the children from the surrounding neighborhood. Two high school pupils will be sent to Maple Falls this term and about a dozen or more will be sent to Mt. Baker High at Deming.

Leonard KEPPLER and Miss Afra BLOOMINGROTH, who taught at Kendall last year will teach again this term.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Lawrence School       tree

The first school building in the Lawrence district was a log house located on the SYRE farm, furnished with home-made desks and benches. Here Mr. CAURTWRIGHT was the first teacher. From here the school was moved into three small buildings before the present school house was erected in 1908. The last of the three buildings just mentioned was located on the homestead of Mr. Ole HOWEM, one mile east of Lawrence.

The present building is a four-room frame building erected in 1908. Here four teachers were employed, teaching eight grades and two years of high school work until Mt. Baker high school was erected in 1924.

Two local girls have served the district as teachers for several years each, and we are very proud to mention Mrs. Alice (JOHNSON) CHASE and Mrs. Daisy (BERG) GRIFFEN.

At present three teachers are employed. Miss Floy POTTER, principal, Miss Mildred MAULE, intermediate, and Miss Ione SHINSTINE, primary. Children will enjoy some new playground this year.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Maple Falls School       tree

About 1890 a small log cabin was built where Herb LEAVITT now lives, and eight or ten children were taught a summer term of school. This was before any school districts were laid out. At that time Maple Falls was only a postoffice in the home of Geo. KING and was called "Harden" until the railroad came in and the name was then changed to Maple Falls. After the log cabin was abandoned as a school house another small building was erected about one-half mile below Maple Falls and it was used until 1910.

By this time the railroad, logging industries and mills made it necessary to find room to take care of the 40 or 50 children belonging to the families in Maple Falls. Two separate buildings were used for some time and two teachers were employed to teach.

These buildings were later destroyed by forest and other fires, which at times wiped out the most of the buildings in the settlement.

Maple Falls has two splendid buildings at the present time, a grade school and a high school. Three buses are used to transport the pupils. The following teachers have been secured for this term:
High school - Principal, Sidney SMITH; Mr. FITTS, Mrs. STORM.
Grade school - Principal, Miss Nora PROCTER; intermediate, Miss Nettie FAULKNER; primary, Miss Cathleen ATKINS. Maple Falls enrolled 63 pupils last term.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Park School       tree

Somewhere in the early 90's Park district was bonded to build a school house at Blue Canyon. Hard times in the CLEVELAND administration soon followed. Lumber was practically at a stand still and values decreased and many people entirely failed to pay their taxes. All the tax money the district could possibly raise was required to pay the interest on the bonds. No public money was left to operate the school. Entertainments and one box supper after another were held to obtain enough money for a six months term of school.

The Blue Canyon coal mine was one of the large industries of Whatcom county that continued to operate through the great depression. Though reduced in numbers the miners had money and contributed liberally to the entertainments and bought the box lunches offered at the box suppers.

As the mine workers dwindled and lumber industries increased the population moved away from Blue Canyon, while Park was a growing community.

Therefore in 1906 it was voted by the school board to move the school building from Blue Canyon to Park. The building was taken apart and the present school house was built from the lumber that was in the former building.

In 1917 it was found necessary to rent the old I. O. O. F. hall at Park in which to teach the upper grades. Miss Frances COCHEL was hired as principal while Miss Jessie MACAULAY taught the primary grades. In 1919 this was discontinued and everything belonging to the school was moved back to the school house.

In 1925 transportation was furnished to carry the grade pupils of Park township to the Park school and the high school pupils to the Deming high school.

The present school carries all the grade work and will be taught this year by Miss Alice PINE from Oregon. Mrs. John RIDENHOUR from Wickersham will transport the children in her car which is leased by the school for that purpose.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Saxon School       tree

Saxon school district No. 8 included Acme for a while in the early days, but later a small log house consisting of but one room was built on the Audrey GALBRAITH place. Susie JOHNSON was the first teacher in the school, which naturally only accommodated a limited number of pupils. Later, 1895, a larger building was erected on the site where the present school building stands. Miss KING was one of the teachers who taught in that building which was used until 1909, when a more up-to-date school building was erected on the same lot. The old building was then used for manual training and a teachers' cottage was built in its place.

The present school building consists of two rooms and has carried as high as 62 pupils, nearly all of whom were the children of farmers around Saxon.

The teachers for this year are Claude L. HADDOX, principal, and Miss Edna SWANSON of Clipper, teacher.

Saxon school house has been used to an unusual degree as a community center although the larger gatherings are now held at the Acme township hall.

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Van Zandt School       tree

In 1891 or 1892 Miss Edith JOHNSON, sister of Miss Feronya JOHNSON, who is one of the best known teachers in the Bellingham schools, taught in a small one room building, boarding with J. M. VAN ZANDT's sister. Before the term was over she married Mr. VAN ZANDT, who was one of the first settlers of that section.

The next year a daughter was born to them, who, after receiving her education, graduating from Whatcom high school and Bellingham Normal, came back and taught school in the settlement that was named for her parents.

Mr. VAN ZANDT gave or sold to the school board the land on which the first school stood. This original site was later sold and another site was purchased to give the school more ground and to provide a community center and play ground.

Van Zandt, Deming and Lawrence formed a consolidation which covered a period of nine years and was called District 317. Soon after the Mt. Baker high school was organized they withdrew from the consolidation and became District 103.

The present modern school house was built in 1928, has two spacious rooms and is an up to date school.

Teachers for this year are David HENSON, principal and Miss Aileen WOLFE, teacher of primary grades. 

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

tree       Wickersham School       tree

District 62 first covered an area from the Whatcom county line on the south to the other side of Acme and children from Wickersham attended a school at Acme for two terms. Then the district was divided and a little one-room school house was built near where William RIDENHOUR now lives. During the days when the camps and mills were running as many as sixty pupils attended that school.

Andrew MOCK of Wickersham and a Mr. IVES, now deceased, were members of that first school board but the name of the other member is not remembered.

Miss Grace FOUTS, of Bellingham, and Miss Cora VINUO [VINUP] of Lynden taught several terms there.

A two room school was erected on the present location about the year 1908. Later this building was raised and two rooms were added below. For several years there were three teachers employed and high school work and manual training was taught besides the grade work. When the schools in the Upper Nooksack valley consolidated with the Deming High School it continued as a grade school.

At present there are two teachers, Mrs. Clara WILCOX, principal, and Mrs. Alura GALBRAITH, teacher.

Several pupils of the Wickersham school completed their high school and Normal training and returned to teach in the school where they had received their first teaching.

Some are now serving as principals in other high schools or filling other important positions in school life. 

From The Deming Prospector, September 12, 1930; copied by Susan Nahas

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