Carlton Schoolhouse

Carlton Historical Tour

Carlton Schoolhouse

Carlton, Oregon 97111, United States

Created By: Visit Carlton


Built: 1907

Converted to apartments: 1966

This two-story building (and basement) was built of brick in 1907 on the same site where a previous schoolhouse burned. Originally the first floor had four large classrooms for the eight elementary grades, and the second floor had four large classrooms for high school. Restroom facilities were initially outhouses. The basement had a large wood-burning furnace and eventually bathrooms were built in the basement in about 1913 when Carlton established a water system.

Until the fall of 1912, there was only a two year high school. The first full graduating class in 1914 consisted of eight girls. For the first few years, athletics had to be outdoors. Eventually a playshed with a dirt floor was built. In 1922 flooring was donated by the townspeople and installed by the students.

A gymnasium was built in 1926. Facilities were designed to accommodate sporting events and theatrical plays. The playshed was moved and converted into a two-classroom annex. In the 1940s, May Day festivities celebrated eighth grade graduation.

By the late 1940s, the School Board realized that the substandard buildings were too small for growing enrollment. The last graduating high school class was in 1949, with eighteen students. Students were then bused to McMinnville on a tuition basis until the High School District merged with Yamhill in 1954. The original belfry of the school burned in 1954.

A new grade school opened in 1953. After new school built, first five grades moved in. Grades 6-8 stayed in the old school. The old gymnasium was used for all grades. In 1955, a multi-purpose space was completed. It included a hot lunch cafeteria, students were bused over from the old school to have access to a hot lunch. In order to avoid an additional bond vote, the new school was slowly finished as funds were available. All students moved into the new school by 1958.

The old brick school took awhile to be repurposed. A group attempted to set up a college there, the Ambassador College, but failed. In 1966, the old school was converted into the Carlton Apartments. The old gym was used as a Youth Recreation Center, then later for building boats.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Carlton Historical Tour


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