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As It Was: Forest Creek School Opens in 1870s Above Jacksonville

Miners and farmers established a school for their children in the 1870s at the juncture of the east and west forks of Forest Creek above Jacksonville.

In 1908, the owner of the Jacksonville Hardware contracted to build a new schoolhouse.  It received improvements through the years, including a new chimney at the rear of the classroom, a larger wood heater, a cloakroom adjoining the woodshed, and removal of the old cloakroom to enlarge the classroom.

The number of students varied from year to year, ranging from six to 35 students in all eight grades. Among the many teachers who taught at Forest Creek School throughout the years was Gus Newbury, who had received his teaching certificate at age 15.  He later became a lawyer and judge.  Mrs. Nettie Abbot Armpriest taught the most years at Forest Creek, and was the final teacher when it closed in 1945.
After the closure, the students attended Jacksonville School until 1950 when Forest Creek consolidated with the Ruch School. 

Sold in 1956, the school building became a private residence in 1989.

Sources:  Black, John, and Marguerite Black. Ruch and the Upper Applegate Valley. Medford, OR, Webb Research Group, 1989, pp. 179-80; Black, Marguerite. Oregon Historic Landmarks. Drain, OR, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1974, pp. 49-50; Newbury, Gus. "Longtime Resident Recalls 1881 Arrival in County, Other Events of Early Days." My Southern Oregon History Pages, edited by Truwe Tina, Medford Mail Tribune, 20 June 1954, id.mind.net/~truwe/tina/newbury.html. Accessed 18 July 2017.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.