Hazel Green Elementary School


The Hazel Green School District was organized in 1865, the year the Civil War ended. The school was called Hazel Green because of the under- growth of hazel. The first schoolhouse. frame building, was located south of the Forest Simmons home near the edge of the woods on the Amer Wood’s farm. It was furnished with ho made desks planned for two pupils, but often serving three. Mrs. Louisa Johnson, is now almost ninety, attended the first school and is the only living pupil of that era, She makes her home with Mrs. Robert Beer her daughter in North Howell

The first school building was replaced in the late 1870s by a better structure on the west side of the Pudding River. Mr. and Mrs. John Davis donated an acre of ground with the understanding that the building could also be used as a church. Teachers in the 1870’s were Frederic Anderegg, Miss Ann Baughman, and Mrs. Allen May. One of the teachers left this notation “School closed July 9, 1876, days 26, dollars 16.

Teachers in the 1880s were Mrs. Charles Weller (Nora Chamberlain), E. B. Fletcher, Miss Ida Wade, Miss Kate Dearborn, Otto Wilson, Ed Kirby, and others. Miss Anna Hass taught eight grades with sixty pupils enrolled in 1895. The pupils* ages ranged from six to sixteen. The homemade desks from the first school building were still in use at this time. Directors in the early days were Charles Arnold, J. L. Wood, Joe Hughes, J. A. Looney, James Norwood, N. P. Williamson, and George and Charles Zielinski, Srs.

The schoolhouse was the meeting place for social and religious activities until the late 1890’s. The Literary and Debating Society with the paper “The Hazel Green Star”, Frank Salesbury, editor, the Sing-in School led by George Applegard of England, and spelling matches attracted attention and drew visitors and talent from other districts. The debaters were Harold Salesbury, John Howell, Preston Wood, I. Keys A. J. May, and others.

The religious life was encouraged by church services and Sunday Schools in the school building. We find recorded Baptist, Methodist, Dunkards, United Brethern, and congregational denominations. The second school building was remodeled in 1897. Becoming too small in 1913, the building was moved across the road and made into a dwelling by Frank Zielinski.

The new schoolhouse that was built had a cloakroom, two classrooms, and a basement Hazel Green was the largest and richest rural district in Oregon until 1920, when about a third of the district became a part of the Labish Center District. s Through the years many improvements were made on the third schoolhouse.

The Community Club financed the building of a stage and a room for a library in 1935. The days are gone now when pupils drive deer from the school grounds, when boys ride work oxen to school, and when small boys run home in terror as the trees make a noise that sounds like a panther’s scream. A bear trap was only a stone’s throw from the door in the first of the Hazel Green school buildings.

The first teachers of the district “boarded around”,-spending a week in each home. Sunday was moving day, and the teacher had an opportunity to become acquainted with parents and to see the home environment. With progress, allhas been changed. The year 1954 marks a year of great progress for Hazel Green. Five acres of land one mile west from the third school building, which still stands, was purchased from Mrs. Dorothy Zielinski.

A new modern school was built consisting of four classrooms and an all-purpose room to be used as an auditorium, gymnasium, and cafeteria. In September, 1954, the new Hazel Green school building was completed. The building has been inspected and has been rated as standard according to Oregon law. l Hats off to the men and women who laid the foundations.

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