Colorado Schoolhouse #14132

Matted, canvas, & super high gloss prints available. Questions?


The Story

Just outside scenic Steamboat Springs along the main road, high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, sits this restored old schoolhouse. To stop here and visit this one-room schoolhouse is truly taking some long steps into the past. Once there were many of them around this area with names like Cow Creek, Hilton Gulch, and this restored one in bright red paint called Mesa Schoolhouse.

First opened in 1916, the last Mesa Schoolhouse was used for teaching kids was 1959. Teaching was usually done by one female teacher for all the grades which was typical of the era. But through that time, it was also the center of its rural community hosting dances, card games, temperance meetings, and other social functions.

Before Routt County consolidated their small schools in the 1950s, education was done in several one-room schoolhouses scattered across these very rural areas surrounding Steamboat Springs. Some remain, repurposed for other things like bed and breakfasts and residences. At times, a few of the retired schoolhouses were used as meeting places and even dance halls. In fact, this little red schoolhouse was a home through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Today it still serves as a community center, a meeting room and social center for rent, and a museum.

In the early years of this country up into the 1950s, these one-room schoolhouses were everywhere. At first, many of them were built of logs. Many had belfries with a small bell all through their history. Here’s another old wooden schoolhouse with a belfry in Pennsylvania in a picture fittingly titled No More Bells #14115.

I was through here in late April when the deep Colorado snows had nearly melted away. The remaining snow can be seen on the mountains behind in the picture. However, crossing the even higher passes in the Rocky Mountains there was still up to four feet of snow!

Location: Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Colorado. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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