The Drake School in Ruch, Ore., was one of many one-room schools that dotted the Applegate Valley in the 1800s and early 1900s. The school was constructed in 1876 where the Ruch School stands today.
By 1912 the Drake School had become dilapidated, and the school board received voter approval in 1913 for a bond to finance a new school. Nellie Collins and her 30 students in grades one through eight moved into the Ruch School in 1914. It featured a bell in a tower constructed of blocks made on site.
Two years later a high school was added, but stayed open only two years, in part because so many boys enlisted in World War I.
Ruch remained a one-teacher school for 20 years until the Sterling School closed and a bus and driver hired to transport its students to Ruch. The need for more staff and more buildings resulted in the construction of a new Ruch building, formally dedicated on May 16, 1914.
The close-knit Ruch community will gather on May 17, 2014, to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary.
Sources: Black, John, and Marguerite Black. Ruch and the Upper Applegate Valley (An Oregon Document). Medford, OR: Webb Research Group, 1989. Print; Smith, Emma J. “The Development of Ruch Grade School”. (1960).