Home » Uncategorized » Strawberry Schoolhouse, Stawberry, AZ

Strawberry Schoolhouse, Stawberry, AZ







     The Strawberry Schoolhouse is located on Fossil Creek Road, 1-3/4 mile west of Highway 87 in Strawberry, AZ.  In 1884, the families living in the Strawberry Valley, Yavapai County, in Arizona Territory petitioned the County School Superintendent to establish a school. The petition was granted and District #33 in the Strawberry Valley was established.  A local dispute over the site for the school building was solved by cowboys using a calf rope and counting the number of lengths between the Hicks-Duncan cabin on the west end of the valley and the Peach cabin on the east end. They retraced their steps to the mid-point. There the one room log school was built and still stands.  Fine pine logs were cut and dragged to the site, squared with a broad axe and adze, then hoisted into position. Shingles were split for the shake roof and glass windows were installed, two on the east side and two on the west. They were double-hung and could be raised and lowered. A bell hung over the door on the south side and a wood burning stove sat in the middle of the room.  The school, also, would serve as meeting place, social center and church.  The school was under Yavapai jurisdiction until a change in the county boundary in 1889. As part of Gila County, it became District #11 and remained until it was permanently closed in June of 1916. With school furniture removed, the building was used as a temporary residence by many newcomers to the valley, and it slowly became uninhabitable. By 1961, nothing remained of the structure but the log frame and it was for sale.  Fred Eldean, an official in the Page Land and Cattle Company, bought the building and site and gave the deed to the Payson-Pine Chamber of Commerce. By 1967, local residents had restored the old structure to a point where it was secure and weather-proof. So it stood awaiting the next step in its restoration by the Arizona Historical Society. In 1979 and 1980, the newly formed Pine/Strawberry Archeological and Historical Society decided to restore the interior and open the school to the public.  It was formally dedicated as a Historical Monument on August 15, 1981.  In 2004, several modifications were made to the exterior including rechinking of the logs, rebuilding the entrance steps and installing new ramps for visitor accessibility.



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