Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

As i was wandering the Humboldt State University online archive of historical Humboldt County photos, i ran across a few gems. (There are thousands of jewels there, of course, but as a Mattole history fan, these in particular set my heart a-flutter!) Many thanks to Joan Berman, who is responsible for the archive and who maintains the website. What a huge labor it must have been to organize all these images, and to keep the collection updated!

I am posting smaller files of the pictures here (though you can click on them to magnify); for full resolution and to enjoy the myriad treasures available there, view them on the HSU website.

A camp in the Mattole Valley, photograph by A. A. Burgess. Probably taken before 1900.

A camp in the Mattole Valley, photograph by A. A. Burgess. Probably taken before 1900.

Here’s how: go to this link: http://library.humboldt.edu/humco/holdings/photosearch.php and in the lower right box, “Photographer,” scroll down to “Austin Burgess” and you will get to the list of ten of his photographs in the Peter Palmquist collection. The wonderful, painterly photograph above is #2 on the list. The men on the left look familiar from our MVHS archives; could the one next to the horse be Charles A. Johnston?
The MVHS already has copies of most of these Burgess photos, and several are on this West of the Redwoods site already, but a few were new to me. This one below (#3 on the Burgess list), of women and children sitting on the beach, seems to be of a Native, or part-Native family. One of the women on the right looks like a Hadley family member. Note the daring individuals atop, and just below, a precariously-perched boulder in the background.
Women and Children Sit on Rocks at Beach, by A.A. Burgess.

Women and Children Sit on Rocks at Beach, by A.A. Burgess.

And this next one also offers great detail. The photo is #1 on the Burgess list on the HSU page. I don’t know who the men are, but think maybe the man just visible behind the horses, taking care of some strap or cargo, is also Native.

Men Gathered around Horse-pulled Wagon Stopped on Road next to Barn, by A.A. Burgess

Men Gathered around Horse-pulled Wagon Stopped on Road next to Barn, by A.A. Burgess.

Peter Palmquist collected these photos and labelled them based on either “official” titles attached somewhere along the way, or on clues he gathered from the pictures or descriptions written on the reverse. Some of the pictures have two titles: one credited to the collector [pp], the other i assume a description from the current archivist, Joan Berman. So, the titles are not always accurate. This school is supposed to be in the Mattole Valley, probably because so many of Burgess’s scenes were; but i am not sure it is. It may be at Capetown or up Bear River. Comparisons to photos of the old Mattole Union School, Union Mattole, Upper Mattole, or Honeydew School show this to be a much smaller building. (I definitely could be wrong about this; anyone with any conviction about which school this is, please comment.) I love the outlaw kids on the roof, though–classic “out in the hills” stuff!

Children and Teacher Gather at Schoolhouse in Mattole, by A.A. Burgess

Children and Teacher Gather at Schoolhouse in Mattole (?), by A.A. Burgess.

A little background information about Ammi Austin Burgess: he was Gypsy Evenden’s, and current MVHS friends Roger and William Brown’s, great-grandfather. He was born in 1842 in Maine, served in the Union Army from April 20, 1861 (enlisted in Waterville, ME)–April 20, 1864 (honorably discharged at Brandy Station, VA), was in Santa Cruz County by 1871, and in 1877 married Elizabeth A. (from New Hampshire, of unknown maiden name)–Lizzie Burgess. By 1879 the couple had their daughter, Maude Addie, and in 1882, son Wallace D. Burgess–Gypsy and the Brown boys’ (great)-uncle Wally. According to Gypsy, “Ammi” always detested his given name, thinking it sounded too feminine, and went by either his initials or his middle name. A.A. and Lizzie lived in the Petrolia area, with Mr. Burgess listing his occupation as “farmer”–but meantime he had mastered the art of studio and landscape photography, and likely took most of his photos in the last quarter of the 19th century.

I called Roger Brown the other day to tap his memories. He never knew A.A., who died in 1906 at a southern California Veterans’ Hospital; nor was Roger sure where exactly he’d lived in the Mattole Valley. However, A.A.’s two children later lived on the south side of the river across from the present Cockburn (former Molly Roberts West) place. Uncle Wally had the place right next to the river where newcomers (now gone) Sean and Becca recently established a small homestead. Maude Addie lived with her husband, Samuel F. (Frank) Adams, across the road and a bit east. The home was just up off the flat we used to call “the Reishus place” which was an opening with an old pile of bricks on it, and later Frankie Lawrence’s trailer, until recently cleared for use by Sterling McWhorter.

[A tiny bit of genealogy to fill you in on the rest of the connection: A.A. and Lizzie Burgess’s daughter Maude married Frank Adams, the son of Samuel S. Adams and Annie Brown, who was herself the daughter of famous abolitionist John Brown. So Maude and Frank were Roger’s (and William’s and Gypsy’s) grandparents. Their children included Louis Adams, father of Gypsy, and Alice Adams Brown, mother of the Brown brothers. Alice was born in the house above the old Reishus flat. And Wallace D. Burgess married Edna Williams of Ferndale in 1905. Wally was an engineer for the Northwestern Pacific railroad.]

A.A. Burgess’s photos not only function as valuable historical records of people and places, they are beautiful. There is one photo he took of three deer carcasses hanging in a row (doesn’t sound pretty, but it was– and i as a vegetarian assure you of that!). Gypsy gave us a print of the photo, and also once showed me a wonderful pencil rendering of the photograph, which she knew was done by Wallace D. Burgess. I always thought that Wally must have been the “Burgess” photographer too, but no, it turns out he was a sketch and painting artist. Roger said he “knew Uncle Wally real well. He had a little coupe, and i remember him sitting in the back of that car, with an easel, sketching.” Roger has a charcoal of the St. Paul aground near Punta Gorda, and another painting of the Petrolia area from the vantage point of the hill west of town, done by his great-uncle–perhaps while sitting in his car.

By the time Austin Burgess made it to the Veteran’s Hospital in early November, 1906, he was suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis, something else i couldn’t make out, Chronic Inflammation, and Deafness. He succumbed to his many ailments on the 20th of that month. Veteran’s benefits began coming to his widow Lizzie in Ferndale. She passed on to join her husband in December, 1916.

I am grateful to Ammi Austin Burgess for his loving and careful artist’s eye and his photographic skills, and to the late Peter Palmquist, the HSU library, and Joan Berman, for preserving the images and making them available to us.

But before you go away, i want to share one more picture. I am currently unable to download this image, but took a screenshot. This is an unusual photograph of Petrolia, taken before 1903 (when a fire destroyed many downtown buildings), from the hill to the east: just a bit north of the present Catholic Church, behind Cary’s house. I love a new picture of old Petrolia, especially one from this early a date!

View of the town of Petrolia in the valley of the surrounding hills, by William Wax.

View of the town of Petrolia in the valley of the surrounding hills, by William Wax.

Do you recognize any of the buildings? Not many remain. You’re looking over the square, toward the ocean. There’s a white frame house where the Franklins’ place is now. Mary Day’s house is in place. On the far right, there’s a little church which was the predecessor of today’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church building, on the same site. The large white building  on the left, with four windows in a row along its side, was the two-storey John A. Mackey store and ballroom.

The picture is from the Peter Palmquist collection, and can be seen in excellent detail here: http://library.humboldt.edu/humco/holdings/photodetail.php?S=&CS=All%20Collections&RS=ALL%20Regions&PS=Wax%20William&ST=ALL%20words&SW=&C=26&R=13

Photographer was William Wax, about whom i know nothing. Googling shows that a William Wax was active in the photography businesses of Columbia, CA (in the Sierra foothills) and the Chico/Redding areas. Perhaps he travelled with his photographic equipment, and luckily for us, passed through Petrolia one fine day.

Enjoy some winter hours enjoying the thousands of pictures available on that fantastic HSU site!

Read Full Post »

(From the Ferndale Enterprise, transcribed by Mary Rackliff Etter in 1964 for her weekly column, “News from the Mattole Valley.”)

Here is another daily journal, kept by a schoolteacher in the 1860s. His take on the Mattole area is quite different from Hindley’s, and it’s easy to make a mental picture of a bored intellectual, out of his element in the wilds of recently-named Petrolia and Upper Mattole. His school building was the two-storey structure that sat on the flat on the east side of the North Fork bridge along the county road just west of Petrolia.

Mattole School, Petrolia, 1888

I would sure like to see the original or a copy of this diary. I have only read these newspaper entries.

Mary made some comments, which I have italicized. My own notes will be [bracketed]. Quaint misspellings are retained.


JUNE 1, Friday, 1866, Pleas. This evening the ball comes off at Centerville. The people expect a good time and we hope they may have one. There is too little sociability among the people here. Staid at Andersons. [Anderson’s was an inn on the Table, up near the eucalyptus trees northwest of Petrolia.]

JUNE 2, Sa. Cloudy. Went to town, had a very sociable time. Read history and Harpers Monthly magazine. This is a very popular magazine here. Many are taken here. [I think when he says ‘town’ he means Petrolia.]

JUNE 3, Sunday, Pleas. Went to town, then to church. Heard a sermon by Mr. Burnel. Went in afternoon to singing school, then on the beach where there were horse racing. [Joel Burnell was a well-known preacher and judge, whose name pops up frequently in countywide history. His name is misspelled ‘Bunnel’ on some maps and documents.]

JUNE 4, Monday, Pleas. Studied Quackenboe’s Grammar, although this work has been adopted by the state board of education, it certainly is not the best. I think the members of that board must have been influenced by interested parties.
[G.P. Quackenbos, 1826-1881, published An English Grammar in 1862.]

JUNE 5, Tues. Pleas. Read the Union and Times. It is thought by some that Congress will adjourn on the 4th of July, cannot think so. Gen. Fremont and Parsons and others have purchased a large portion of the R.R. from St. Louis to Fort Riley. Ben. Butler and others have purchased large track in Lower Cal.

JUNE 6, Wed. Pleas. Went to Mr. Stansberry’s, found most of the family unwell. Read the Banner of Light. There is to be a convention of Spiritualists at San Jose in a month.

JUNE 7, Thurs. Pleas. Went to Mr. Butler’s, spent the evening in conversation and in reading the Ledger. This paper still sustains its character as a literary journal.

P.S. In the diary, 1866. The horse racing took place 1 ½ miles west of Petrolia, up the Jeffery hill to what is commonly known as “the Table,” close to where the Eucalyptus trees now stand. At a later date the trees were planted and cared for by Ellis Hunter, now 87, when he was a young boy. The purpose of the trees was to make a windbreak for the creamery that stood just south, across the road. [Leah Kausen told me her father, Jack Smiley, planted that line of trees just around the turn of the century. By then Ellis Hunter would’ve been about 23. Who knows?]

JUNE 8, Friday, Rain. Had a very small school on account of rain. Spent the evening in conversation. Wish people understood the labors of the teachers. How tiresome, how wearing on the system.

JUNE 9, Sat. Rain. Went to town. Read in the Laws of Cal. And in the school law. Petrolia is now a rather dry place. Nothing for excitement or amusement. Most of the people are much discouraged in regard to oil.

JUNE 10, Sunday. Cool. Studied grammar. Read an account of Gen. Scott’s death, which took place May 29th. In him we lose a brave soldier and a true patriot. There was quite an excitement in horse racing. Several races—much money bet.

JUNE 11, Mon. Cool. Misty. Spent evening in conversation. How strange the influence which one person has over another, a magnetic influence, yet one may use good language and have good subjects on which to converse, yet have but little influence.

JUNE 12, Tues. Pleas. Read the Times and Flag. The Cholera is spreading in N.Y. Many deaths have occurred already. Many on vessels coming from Liverpool. War in Europe is almost certain. Napoleon is the grand mover.

JUNE 13, Wed. Pleas. Marshall Wright and others stopped with me at Mr. Anderson’s. We had a pleasant time. Mr. Anderson went to Eureka. Read the Union. The prospects for gold in Montana still appears good in places.

JUNE 14, Thurs. Warm. This is the only real warm day we have had for a long time. The season has been a very singular one. The oldest inhabitants never saw one so wet. The grass has been benefitted, but the corn has been injured.
[Wonder if by “oldest inhabitants” he meant Natives. Since the Whites had only been there basically 9 years– 12 if you count the first couple of bachelors and scouts– the phrase can’t mean much unless it does refer to Natives.]

JUNE 15, Friday, Warm. Read in the history of the United States. In this work, Howe’s many incidents are related for the early settlement of each of the states. It is an excellent work for young persons, because it is calculated to please.

JUNE 16, Saturday, Warm. Went to the Upper Mattole Valley to take the census of the school children. I found a great many persons living with their squaws and have many children—about 25 in the Valley.
[The 1860 Mattole census concurs with this, and is quite an interesting document to peruse.]

JUNE 17, Sunday, Warm, Rain at night. Considerable excitement, several horse races, much betting, card playing, drinking etc. Well, we cannot blame persons much, they must have amusement, some excitement—none here but this, gardening and trapping gophers.

JUNE 18, Monday, Pleas. Read in Howe’s history. He gives an outline history first which merely narrates the principals of events which transpired in the different periods—it is divided in three periods.

JUNE 19, Tuesday, Pleas. Read the Flag Times and Journal. The great excitement in the East now is the Ferrian (?) movement in Canada. In Europe the prospects are that war is inevitable. In South America the Brazillians and Paraguayans are still fighting.

JUNE 20, Wed., Pleas. Probst the murderer has made his confession—it is one of the most brutal murders on record. Read the history of our whole country. Spent most of the evening in amusement.

JUNE 21, Thurs. Rain. Read in history. This is the most rainy spring and summer that has ever been known. Much of the crops in the lower country are spoiled by rust—crops here look well.

JUNE 22, Friday, Pleas. Had a very interesting time at school, Spelling, etc. Considerable excitement about the 4th. We anticipate a good time. Captain Smith was here.

JUNE 23, Sat. Rain. Read in history. Went with Marshall Wright after horses. Had a terrible storm overtake us. Rain and hail with a wind—blowing a perfect hurricane. Strange weather for June, surely.

JUNE 24, Sun. Rain in the morning, pleasant in the afternoon. Some excitement. Two races, quite a number of persons present. Read in history. Spent part of the day in conversation with Mr. J. V. Hunter and others.
[Mr. Lane’s handwriting may have been misread by Mrs. Etter. Mr. John Henry Hunter might have been here—though my records show he arrived 1867—and Thomas, Walker, Shelby, and Paschal M. Hunter, his brothers, came at various times around that decade… but I can’t think who Mr. J.V. would be. Maybe from another family that has since disappeared.]

JUNE 25, Mon. Pleas. Read in History. I think Greeley’s History will be one of the Standard works on this subject yet in many respects it is unjust, if not unreliable.

JUNE 26, Tues. Pleas. Read the Flag, Union & Times. The trial of Jeff Davis [Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy] postponed until October. No doubt but what the President is using his influence in a secret way to liberate him. I do not believe he will be hung.

JUNE 27, Wed. Pleas. Read some articles on the Mines of Montana. From all we can learn there are many persons who will never realize in that country what they anticipate. A few will make fortunes.

JUNE 28, Thurs. Pleas. Read some in the Newspaper and spent some time in amusement and conversation. The great objection to this valley is that there is no amusement of the proper kind.

JUNE 29, Friday, Warm. Went to Stansberrys, read the Banner of Light and Journal. There are few papers I prize more highly than these. In many points they are similar, and we think should be in more [homes?—or in more points?].

[I googled one of these magazines and got the following:
‘Banner of Light, a weekly subtitled “An Exponent of the Spiritual Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century,” had the largest circulation of any spiritualist paper in the world. For three dollars a year, subscribers would get “a first-class eight-page Family Newspaper containing forty columns of interesting and instructive reading.” Features included a literary section offering occasional French and German works in translation, but specializing in “Original Novelettes of reformatory tendencies.”
Banner of Light also featured reports of spiritual lectures by “able Trance and Normal speakers,” original essays on spiritual, philosophical and scientific subjects, general interest current events, and a very special service: messages from the dead.’
The Camp Meetings were also part of this Victorian trend of investigating the supernatural .]

JUNE 30, Sat. Warm. Marshall Wright and I went to Bear River in the afternoon. Had a very pleasant time. Staid with Stewart. Charley is with him now. Charley has had some difficulty lately with Mr. Davison and family.
[Thomas Stewart’s was a familiar stopover in Bear River/Capetown.]

JULY 1, Sun. Warm. Went to Camp Meeting on the Eel River. Quite a large attendance, but little excitement in a meeting of this kind. Came back to Mr. Frances [Ferndale] and staid all night. Had a very pleasant time with Miss Nook and others.
[Miss Cook, perhaps? ;-)]

JULY 2, Monday, Warm. Went to Eureka and back to Mr. Frances. Eureka is very dull. Some excitement in regard to reported discoveries of silver a few miles from here.

[No entry July 3.]

JULY 4, Wed. Pleas. The glorious 4th again! How we hallow its sacred memories! We had indeed a good celebration for a place of this kind. The Declaration of Independence was read, the oration was delivered by John DeHaven. A ball in the evening. [Not sure if he is in Ferndale or Petrolia for the Fourth.]

JULY 5, Thurs. Pleas. Did not feel much like being at the horse races, yet the excitement drew me out. Yesterday we had several, today we had five or six. People must have some kind of amusement, if it is only this.

JULY 6, Friday, Pleasant. Went down town, had some racing; considerable betting. People do not care for money here. It is easily made and they do not appreciate its true value.

JULY 7, Sat. Pleas. Read some newspapers, wrote some letters, went to town, and to Mr. Stansberry’s to stay all night. Mrs. Bassett was there to pay her last visit before starting to Australia. Mr. Fry and lady start to San Francisco on Monday.
[Mr. Bassett was one of the backers of oil exploration in the early 1860s. Oil drilling equipment was delivered to Bassett’s Landing , just north of the mouth of the Mattole. The Mrs. was likely his wife, perhaps headed to better prospects.]

JULY 8, Sunday, Pleas. Went home, spent the forenoon in conversation, the afternoon in looking at the races. The excitement now is about over, there will be a few more races, but no excitement like what has been.

JULY 9, Monday, Pleas. School again. Well, we have had a good vacation and ought to be ready to work again. Mr. Jones, our County Superintendent of Schools, paid us a visit. He expressed himself as being well pleased with the advancement of the school.
[The local school year used to take its longest break in the winter months, when the rivers were difficult to cross and travel was generally daunting.]

JULY 10, Tues. Pleas. Read in Goldsmith Natural History. He makes a statement which I have not seen elsewhere, that the natural age of all inferior animals is equal to his age when he arrives at maturity, multiplied by 7. Read articles on the hare and rabbit.

JULY 11, Wed. Pleas. Read the Union. It appears that all attempts to settle the difficulties between the European powers have proven futile. The new Pacific R.R. bill has passed the Senate.

JULY 12, Thurs. Pleas. Read Thomson’s Spring. There are many beautiful passages in this. “Love can answer love, and under bliss secure.” His power of picturing the common things of life is very good. His remarks on jealousy are good.


Well, that about brings us to our current posting date. I hope to add to this, bit by bit. Much gratitude to the late Mary Rackliff Etter, who typed up the original newspaper copy.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday’s post mentioned the earthquake damage to the old two-storey school in Petrolia which made it unsafe for holding classes. Here is a photo of the building taken by a Mr. Eakle in 1906, and found in the Bancroft Library’s easily searched online photo collection– along with two others found there.

This was the school used for over four decades, until 1906, located near the site of today's Yellow Rose restaurant, on the east side of the lower North Fork, Mattole.

The rear (west) ell of the hotel built around 1880 as a family home by John Walsh. Later Modest Giacomini converted it to a hotel, and by 1906 Jack Wright and Ellis Hunter were running it.

The Knights of Pythias had a chapter here which met in this building, later the Mattole Lumber Company Store. Not positive precisely when Calvin Stewart and the MLC set up shop here. Northwest corner of the Petrolia Square (view toward southeast)

Calvin Stewart’s daughter, Lavinna– variously spelled– was married to Tommy Few-Hairs Johnson, and the Johnson couple ran the Mattole Lumber Co.’s merchandise business. Since the store in the downstairs (upstairs was retained as a meeting and dance hall) seems not to have had any other names before “Johnson’s” or “Mattole Lumber Co.” we might assume that the Stewart family bought the building after the earthquake, fixed it up, and were ready for business by the time the Mattole Wharf was up and running in August, 1908.

Read Full Post »

I found this synopsis of events leading to the beginning of Cabaret culture at the Community Center in my computer archives. It was put together about five years ago; i think i did it to help someone write an article that was part of a push to get funding. The renovation and expansion of the MRC offices upstairs, and the kitchen and bathrooms downstairs, was Phase One of a plan that should soon start taking the next step– pushing out the north wall to make room for a stage and dressing room, creating an even more entertainment-friendly venue. More than one lovely article could be written– this is only the outline of the earlier years.

So much has happened in this building, both as a school and in its many functions as the Community Center; important things in our lives (besides the obvious schooling and graduations) like friendship, play, drama and sports, parties and dinners, graduations, and now birthdays, memorials, baby blessingways and women’s circles, classes, workshops, breakfasts, and the ongoing work of the Mattole Restoration Council. At the MVHS’s Grange office we have a couple of binders of articles and pictures of the Community Center’s formation, and of the moving of the building across the street to its present location.

Brief history of Mattole Union School
and Mattole Valley Community Center connection

1859—Mattole School District established
1860—First building destroyed by falling tree (Humboldt Times, August 4, 1860)
1861—New school building completed (“according to county records,” says Book of Petrolia, p.56) on northwest side of North Fork creek
1862—Schoolbuilding burned down by vandals (Book of Petrolia)
1862—New two-storey wooden clapboard structure built about 100 yards east of the North Fork and north of the county road—near present Yellow Rose restaurant (Book of Petrolia)
1869—Mattole District counts 83 students, compared to Eureka’s 282 and Ferndale’s 54 (Humboldt Times, August 29, 1869)
1871—Or perhaps this is when the two-storey white clapboard school was built. Humboldt Times of August 26, 1871, states that “Trustees of the Mattole School District invite proposals for the building of a schoolhouse near Petrolia.” Also, some county records (according to History of Humboldt County Schools) date a “Petrolia School District” to 1871
1877—120 students in Mattole District; 57 at Upper Mattole (Humboldt Times, August 31, 1877)
1880s-90s—Ninety or more students in two classrooms (one upstairs and one down) covering twelve grades (Book of Petrolia)
1906—Schoolbuilding seriously damaged by April 18 earthquake. School held temporarily in Community Church (now Seventh-Day Adventist). Plans made by District Trustees to raise a tax and build a fine new school (Ferndale Enterprise, April 19, 1907)
1907—Contractor P.T. Petersen building new schoolhouse. (Ferndale Enterprise, April 19, 1907). Frank Adams and Jack Wright hired; some of the lumber from local mill run by Frank Etter. (Local newspaper clipping by Laura Stansberry Hunter Smith, 1962). Other wood is fine lightweight redwood hauled from Ferndale to Petrolia at 3000 feet per load by John Titus (Enterprise)
1907 or ‘08—Bell and its cast-iron frame salvaged from old school and placed in belfry atop new schoolbuilding, located on southeast crest of Crane Hill, in present grassy playfield just east of paved area. West end of building was main entry with a porch-wide flight of steps and eventually two separate doors. School begins here in fall of year (Book of Petrolia vs. memories of oldtimers at Petrolia Day—see Now… and Then, v1, n4)
1920s—Additional building (present office building) constructed separately, north of original building on site, as high school. Grades 1 through 11 taught through 1948, when students are sent to Ferndale on boarding-out basis, through agreement with their district (Book of Petrolia)
1924–Mattole Union District formed when Union Mattole School (located near Squaw Creek) is closed and the Petrolia “Mattole” School absorbs its students. (History of Humboldt County Schools, Vol. III)
1926—Mattole enrollment at low of about 10 (County records)
1950-51—Mattole average daily attendance is 15. One teacher (Directory of Public Schools, 1951)
1954-55—Larger population due to logging boom. Two teachers at Mattole School: 1-4 and 5-8 grades (Directory)
1956—Belfry torn down and bell taken to County Fairgrounds (Book of Petrolia)

Student body of Mattole Union School, 1955-56. Teacher for the upper grades was Mr. William Johnston, and for the lower, Mrs. Inez Johnson. Photo courtesy Tom Fisher

1962—Bell returned to school grounds (is now atop water tower on northwest end of school property). Map of Mattole Valley painted on inside west wall by students for Petrolia Day (Book of Petrolia)
Mid-1960s—Last graduation ceremonies held in old Mattole Union School building; henceforth held at Mattole Grange, as they had often been previously (1940s) (Memory of Ray Azevedo, 1960s school principal)
Early 1970s—Replacement classrooms set up at Mattole Union School site (Ray Azevedo); old schoolbuilding condemned as unsafe for use under Field Act for Earthquake Safety (MVCC archives)
1975—First meeting of the Mattole Valley Community Action Planning Committee in June (MVCC archives)
1977—Mattole Valley Community Center with more than 70 members negotiates with School Board for purchase of old school building. Sold for $100 (MVCC archives)
1978—Mattole School Song written by Dorothy Short
1978, August—Building pulled across street by volunteers to present location on west side of county road. Keeps old east-west orientation so that entries are reversed: the old back door now fronts the county road
1979, January—New front porch added, woodstove installed, electrical wiring completed. By March, building ready for use. By fall, Mattole Valley Preschool begins operation in old building; new office space upstairs, later to be the Mattole Restoration Council office, opened as library (Now… and Then, v1, n4)
1979, fall—First Cabaret held at Mattole Valley Community Center (MVCC archives)

The Mattole Valley Community Center in 2006, after first expansion

Read Full Post »