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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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October 3, 2018     Feather River Bulletin
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October 3, 2018
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 9B Students of the 1864 historic Taylorsville School walked to school, rode there on horses or came in buggies. They attended from all over Indian Valley and studied from first to eighth grade. After that, many graduated and worked on farms or ranches. Girls sometimes continued their studies to earn certificates, return to help with younger ones, and become teachers themselves. Photo submitted As the windows are restored and critical masonry repairs help to weatherproof the old schoolhouse, Richard Davis and Scott Lawson talk about restoration options and needs with a visitor, Joe Childers of Quincy. Photo by Roni Java SCHOOL, from page 1B includes desperately needed masonry repairs. Ken Donohue, a Sacramento County contractor who drove up every day for over two . weeks from Elk Grove and donated part of his labor costs to the job, has completed the bricks and mortar work. Davis is also donating a significant part of his own labor expenses on the window restorations as a contribution to the community project. He jokes that's it's rather an odd job for him anyhow, "I'm a furniture builder, not really a window guy!" But his work is beautiful and the saved windows look perfect, like they probably did when they were new --just as the masonry and brick repairs do. Asked what has been the hardest part of the window repair work so far, Davis instantly shoots back from his ladder perch against another wall, "The painting! It's so painstaking." Lawson chimes in, "And there's the color matching! Is it bright white or off-white or a darker white?" and both men bust up laughing. S 0plyard fun is time|es~ ~ Leading the way outside, Lawson says Donohue the mason was especially careful with some historically valuable bricks on the outside back wall. "When the school bell rang, you had best be in your seat before the last clang," Lawson recalls with a chuckle. "Kids understood it, get in your chair and settle down. But when recess came, that's when things like this became the chief entertainment and they had to work at it!" Lawson is pointing to a series of old red bricks all aligned with fresh, new mortar. Many of them have discernible names carved into them. "That one there, R.F. Cooke, that was Roland F. Cooke whose relative, Bob Cooke, was known as Mr. Taylorsville," Lawson explains with not a little schoolyard mirth. "And there's Eugene Burge, that's an old name here in Taylorsville. And Eugene Light, well Light's Creek is named for his family. That one, Josie? I don't know who she was, but her brick is way up there, so she must have been tall! Or her boyfriend was!" Davis is outside now, taking a break from his glazier duties, and the fellows naturally fall into a conversation about schoolyard high jinks, like getting beaned with a baseball or accidentally hit from a bb gun. "Don't tell your mother!" they practically say at the same time, breaking into laughter. Significance of being officially old The 1864 Taylorsville School is important for more reasons than simply her impressive age and the history from so many generations of Indian Valley families. In 1991, the late Susan Wilson of the Indian Valley Grange succeeded in getting the school site designated as a state historical point of interest. In addition, by 2007, Diane McCombs of Genesee Valley' was able to register the school and grounds with the California State Department of Parks and Recreation as an archeologically significant site. But more than these, Lawson says the old school is officially the oldest one-room, brick schoolhouse in California that is still sitting on its original site. Boy, that foundation shows it, too made with all those clunky, local stones. "There's one school older, down in Mariposa, but they moved it!" Lawson remarks. "I don't know how they did it, moving a brick building, but they did." After the sale from the Native Sons to Plumas County, the building sat empty and guiet for many years. Lawson is quick to credit the community for helping to maintain interest in the facility. He recounts the day when a dedicated crew of volunteers came out in the mid-2000s and performed a major community cleanup at the school. It was an act of generosity that county museum's executive director still appreciates to this day. "We filled my F-150 up three times and hauled a lot away," Lawson says. His next aims for the schoolhouse and grounds include applying for grant monies to make some foundation and roof repairs, plus start some interior restoration work. But he acknowledges that obtaining additional funding could be challenging because, in his experience, donors are often leery of investing in old buildings made of bricks and mortar,due to earthquake concerns. "It takes a lot of money to bring these places back," Lawson explains, smiling affectionately at the old schoolhouse and the obvious amount of work the place could use. "It's $4,000 to get PG&E to set up a commercial electrical panel and then even get electricity out here (now)" he says. "But we've got a great deal with the Indian Valley Services District to buy into the water and sewer system for a very reasonable rate of $23 a month over 150 years, if we ever get to build a restroom, etc." One hundred and fifty years sounds just about right for project planning on a beauty such as the 1864 Taylorsville School. AMERICA'S TQP 120 41 Channe!s | $5929/mo. DVR included! Offer expires tl .6JI,9, Restrictions apply. Cell for details Local Dealer, Local Service, Call Today! 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