Early pioneers demonstrated their value of education by building the first schoolhouse in the English Settlement area of Oakland, Ore., in the 1850s. A one-room schoolhouse that replaced it in 1910 is part of today’s Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park on Elkhead Road. The federal government’s Registry of Historic Places listed the second school building in 2007.
Many one-room school houses closed by 1930, when improved transportation and rural depopulation led to school consolidations. School attendance reached a high of 28 students, but had dropped to eight students when it closed in 1934.
The Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park Association began cleaning and restoring the building in 2005. The Douglas County Parks Department placed it on a new cast-concrete block foundation, although some of the original basalt fieldstones continue to support the building. The Association wants Douglas County school teachers to take students to the restored school to experience what life was like more than 100 years ago, when students learned by memorized rote and recitation.
A member of the Association’s board, Karen Roberson, puts it this way: “When completed, we want to have children sitting in there with slates having school like their grandparents and great-grandparents.”
Sources: Reed, Craig. "Reviving a One-Room Schoolhouse." Ruralite Jan. 2015 [Roseburg, Ore.] . Print; "English Settlement School." Oregon Historic Sites Database. Oregon State Parks, Web. 3 Feb. 2015. Path: http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=36142; “English Settlement School”, Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties, http://www.co.douglas.or.us/planning/hrrc/regions/pdfs/EnglishSettlementSchoolDistrictNo26.pdf