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As It Was: Four Structures Predate the Rock Hill School

The one-room Rock Hill School on Old Hill Road southwest of Lebanon, Ore., has served as a school, church, and community center.

William Gallaher founded the school in 1854.  He was its first teacher and was the owner of land where it stood.

The schoolhouse that stands there today was built sometime between 1895 and 1905, but it was predated by four school buildings in the same area.

The first schoolhouse was a log cabin built in 1853 where students sat on rough slab benches. It burned down in the late 1860s.  The next school was an old church building and the third building was begun by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, but never finished for lack of money.  The members then joined with the local school committee to complete the building.  There is little information about why this school was abandoned.  There is also little written about the fourth structure.

The present-day Rock Hill School, painted its original white with black trim, was placed on the Linn County Historic Register on March 12, 1986, and on the National Register on June 4, 1993.

Source: "Oregon.History_Rock_Hill_School.pdf." LCSD Rock Hill School History, file://H:oldsiteimageshistoryhistory_rhs.htm. Accessed 20 July 2018.

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.