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As It Was: Yreka, Calif., Family Converts Old Schoolhouse to Residence

The Snowden School District was located along the right-hand side of the Montague-Ager Road north of Montague, Calif.

Established in 1896, the first school building burned in 1918.  The fire was reported by Fred Meamber, who wrote in the Yreka Journal of April 10, 1918, “The Snowden school house burned down last Thursday afternoon.  All the furniture except the teacher’s desk was saved.  School continues in the woodhouse.”

A rebuilt school opened the next year and closed in 1937 when the district was annexed to the Willow Creek District.  The Cooley family bought the schoolhouse and moved it to Yreka, where it was converted into a family residence.

Some of the teachers who worked in the school included Lena Rose Barbour, Miss Ethel Cooper, Miss Peck, Rosie Rose Desavedo, Mrs. Helmuth, whose husband managed the Denny Bar store in Yreka, and Mrs. Walter Lichens.  The last teacher at the school was Mrs. Rita Prather.  Pupils in the final class included Vera and Verna Dexter, Evelyn Clark, Floyd Hogan, Jim Marshall, Claude Hagedorn, Helen Cooley, Norman Fiock, and Howard Betts.

Source: Fiock, May. "Snowden School." Siskiyou Pioneer, The, vol. 5, no. No 8, 1985, p. 44.

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Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.  She co-authored Historic Inns & Eateries in the State of Jefferson, featuring 30 locations and their recipes.