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As It Was: Backwoods Oregon Teacher Has Her Hands Full

In 1941, Florence Camp Lowery felt fortunate that she was hired as the teacher at the one-room Quosatne schoolhouse, located 15 miles up the Rogue River near the present-day Quosatana Creek and Forest Service campground.
Her three-year contract consisted of a starting salary of $75 a month, equivalent to $1,307 today. She got an annual bonus of $10, or about $174 in today's dollars, for janitorial services. They consisted of sweeping, dusting, washing windows, splitting kindling, building a fire, cleaning two outhouses, and operating a boat. In addition she had to cross creeks and hike a long distance to reach school. Having grown up on the Siuslaw River at Mapleton, she was well-suited to the tasks. Her first class consisted of five children.

She spent a third of her monthly wages for room and board at a nearby fishing resort where she lived in the attic.

Lowery added woodworking to the curriculum to replace missing furniture, and used government surplus commodities to provide hot soup lunches for her students.

Lacking students, the Quosatne school closed permanently in 1946.

Sources:  Camp-Lowery, Florence. "Quosatne School." Curry County Reporter-Rogue Coast, 23 June 1993, p. 12+; Schroeder, Walt. They Found Gold on the Beach. Curry Historical Society, 1999, p. 130-134.

Laurell has a background in visual arts from studies at Southern Oregon University and Washburn University, and graduated with a self-designed BA in Fiber Arts from the College of Santa Fe in 2003. She was a staff member and operations engineer at Santa Fe’s public radio station KSFR, host and producer of 'Folk Remedy' from 2008 to 2011, as well as co-host of the political talk show ‘Living On the Edge’ and cooking show ‘Mouth Of Wonder’. In recent years she’s DJ’d at Oregon stations KLCC and KSOW in the Eugene area.