“The Greenwood School House Project has been a superb example of how HPF has helped save a piece of California History, while raising interest and public knowledge of the Native Sons of the Golden West. A funny thing is the unintended side effects have included further respect for our order, and a revived curiosity in our history. I think everyone involved has gained something from this project.”
Jerry Stinson, President Parlor #91
A Little History
Knowing that education was the gateway to a better life for their children, the residents of Greenwood California formed the Greenwood School District in 1858. In 1886 the one room school house that still stands in Greenwood was constructed. (The previous school house burnt to the ground) Approximately 19 children attended the first year in the new school house. The school quickly became a social hub for the community as well as an emergency meeting site for those aﬄicted by natural disasters. The school continued to operate with meager budgets and diﬃculties securing teachers throughout the turn of the century. By 1943 a third generation resident and former student at the Greenwood School had now become a teacher, and by 1944 there was electricity, a well and a pump. Thru many trials and tribulations, the Greenwood School House remained in operation until 1954.
In 1955 the Greenwood School was merged with Northside School located in Cool Ca. In 1957 the Greenwood Civic Organization acquired the Greenwood School House for $25.00 from El Dorado County. Their intention was to save the building as a community center. As of this day, the community continues to enjoy the use of the Greenwood School House. In more recent times due to lack of membership, funding, and under threat of ADA law suit the Greenwood Civic Organization relinquished the building to the Georgetown Divide Recreation District. They too struggle to keep it open. It has been improved (ADA) and is used as a co-operative preschool, a meeting place for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, a public park and a community hall. This building truly is a living link to the past.
For the last 60 years the old school house has served as an active Community Center and Park. As one the oldest surviving structures in Greenwood, the school provides a look back into the pioneer life of California. From the steps of the school house you could have witnessed the miners traveling to the various gold fields of the gold rush, and survived local disasters like fires and floods. This building truly is a living link to the past. Unfortunately time has taken its toll.
Members of the community asked the NSGW for advise and assistance. A project proposal was presented to the HPF in January of 2014. HPF provided $6500.00 and with the labor of a parlor the Native Sons rose to the occasion.
The Greenwood School House currently provides a home for programs like; a co-op preschool, the Boy Scouts of America, a public park and other community functions.
Project Overview – Georgetown Parlor #91 divided this project into two Phases
Funded by HPF, included replacing the siding, windows and porch on the south wall and front of the building. Those parts of the building failed and exposed the structural portions of the GSH to the weather.
Involves replacing the siding and windows for the north and west walls of the GSH. Phase 2 would also includes a publicity campaign. The goal of this campaign is to facilitate public participation through donations, and renew interest in California History.
How Can You Help;
If you would like to participate, a donation to the Greenwood School House Project in care of HPF can be be made at anytime. Donations can be tax deductible and can be mailed to HPF or Georgetown Parlor #91, PO Box 635 Georgetown, Ca. 95634. All donations are appreciated.