Teacher in Bloomers Shocks Supervisor

Aug 5, 2014

  The school at Climax, Ore., on Antelope Creek north of Grizzly Peak had been unable to keep a teacher for a full term for several years. One woman reported the sticky mud was so bad on the trail to school that it weighed down the hem of her skirt and crept up her back to her neck.  

The community was so isolated it took the mail carrier all day on horseback to bring the mail from Eagle Point.  Even after hearing the stories, Norma Waltermire agreed to teach in Climax for the summer of 1914. She wore bloomers with a middy blouse and rubber boots. A supervisor visited one hot afternoon after Waltermire and her students had been swimming. They were back at the schoolhouse when the supervisor arrived.  She was horrified to find Waltermire in bloomers and demanded to meet with a board member, who told her, “She’s the only teacher that has brains enough to dress properly for this climate and steep trails, and we’ll raise her salary” to keep her. Waltermire finished her full term in Climax, but moved on to Bellview School near Ashland the next year.

Source: Waltermire, Norma. Early Teaching Days in Oregon. Unpublished manuscript found in the “Climax” vertical file at the Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library. [Medford, Ore.].