By De Palin, Contributor
Have you ever wondered about the beautiful historic brick building on Colville Road in downtown Loon Lake? What is it used for? Who owns it? Is it open to the public?
The Old Schoolhouse was built in 1929 for students of the Loon Lake School District. The building is now owned by the Loon Lake Historical Society, a non-profit organization working to gather and preserve the history of Loon Lake.
The Loon Lake School District was formed in 1889, the same year Washington became a state. There were two buildings used as schoolhouses before the brick one in the photo — a log cabin (we have never found a photo of it) and a two-story white frame building. At one time there were over 100 students.
It was in the late 1920s when the push for a new building started. The new building was to have two large classrooms – one for grades one through four, the other for grades five through eight – and a basement for activities, all at a cost of $8,000. If it hadn’t been proposed at that time, it probably would not have been built because of the October 1929 stock market crash and the great depression in the 1930s.
The new school was ready in September 1929 for its grand opening. It included indoor plumbing, electric lights, and wood heat. It served this community for 71 years until April 1992 when the students and staff moved to the new larger (current) school just north of the Old Schoolhouse on Maple Street. The move was made during spring break, and the Historical Society was able to take ownership right away because it was purchased by a silent bid in the fall of 1991. Many devoted community members renovated the building to bring it up to code, including the addition of an elevator. The original historic aspects, however, were preserved, and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Loon Lake Historical Society (LLHS) was formed in 1991 to gather and preserve the history of the area. Over the past 30 years, kind folks have given us stories, information, artifacts, and photos. The Historical Society has presented many interesting programs, fundraisers, and social events.
After being closed for a year and a half due to the pandemic, we are now open to the public again for the summer. You can visit us on Saturdays from 10 to 2 and look through our history. See the old school room, complete with the original desks, and the many artifacts that make up our mini museum.
An invitation to be part of history
If you’re looking for a way to get involved and make a difference for your community, why not become a member of LLHS and join us to promote, discover and preserve our area history. We need history detectives and volunteers to help with projects and events. If you would like to work on our website or museum set-up or fundraisers, please send us an email to LLhistorical@gmail.com.