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Volunteer Maintains Historical Douglas County School Markers

Douglas County, Ore, once had 171 school districts stretching across more than 5,000 square miles, compared to 13 school districts serving 47 schools today.

The pioneers who brought school books with them on the trip West also brought the concept of education to the county.  They knew the books would provide a foundation for their children’s education.
Larry Moulton, of Roseburg, former teacher and school administrator, has taken it upon himself to commemorate most of the early school sites.  Douglas County gives him materials and school site signs to place along the county’s back roads.  Some adorn current buildings that replaced earlier structures.
Several times a year, Moulton loads his aging pickup with tools and supplies to make rounds of the 160 markers, often traveling well off the beaten path, cleaning and repairing signs as needed.
He keeps meticulous records of sign locations and conditions, but he’s concerned about who will carry on the work.  
“I’ll do this as long as I can,” he says, “I just hope there will be someone else who will keep it going.”

Sources: "The History of the ESD." Douglas Education School District. Web. 18 Aug. 2014. "Former Douglas County Educator Commemorates Former School Sites." Small Talk Newsletter Winter 2010. Web. 18 Aug. 2014. 

Emily Blakely has published poetry and prose, and frequently displayed framed works at the Umpqua Valley Arts Center as well as restaurants and libraries in the area. Researching local history has become one of her favorite pastimes.