Harris Schoolhouse
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 42° 57.329 W 120° 47.248
10T E 680473 N 4758246
Two of the six signs at this location.
Waymark Code: WM2A4D
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 09/30/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 16

This sign location at Jack Lake is located adjacent to the Lodge at Summer Lake across the highway from the headquarters for the Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge. There are six signs in the kiosk: Harris Schoolhouse (History), A Place of Richness (History), Sparked by Nature (Fire), Birding and Byways (wildlife), Birds (Wildlife), and Byway Description

Marker Name: Harris Schoolhouse
Marker Text: The picturesque Harris Schoolhouse, located 3.5 miles south of here, is a prominent landmark in the history of rural education in southern Oregon. Providing education to rural children in the late 1800s was a growing concern. The earliest settlers taught their children at home, but as the area’s population grew, communities began to establish small schoolhouses in which local youngsters could gather.
The Harris Schoolhouse was one of the early one-room schools. It was established in 1890 by the Harris family, pioneers in the Summer Lake area. The little school operated until 1919 when shifting populations forced its closure. It reopened in 1926 and continued to serve for another three years. In 1929, a bus was purchased to transport students to nearby Paisley School and Harris School was closed for good.
It was the end of an era for many small rural schoolhouses. A few of the tiny buildings still stand - reminders of a day when students of all ages worked and learned together, when teachers didn’t just teach, but served as janitors, carpenters, fire-stokers, and cooks, when students shoved their desks aside on Friday afternoons and took their books home with them to make way for Saturday night community dances.
Marker Name: A Place of Richness
Marker Text: This land and its occupants share a long history together - adapting and strengthening through change. Explorer John Fremont noted: “Almost like plants, these people seem to have adapted themselves to the soil, and to be growing on what the immediate locality afforded.”
13,000 years ago: High precipitation created vast lakes and dense forest - good environment for muskox, camels, giant-beaver, and ground sloths. Earliest known inhabitants hunted large migratory game and utilized lakeshore waterfowl, waterfowl eggs, plants, and fish.
10,000 year ago: The climate became arid. Lakes dried up into shallow marshes. People concentrated around lakes and marches and moved with the season. In the summer, people hunted game and collected roots and berries along the ridge tops. In the winter, they returned to the basin floor.
6,500 years ago: Mount Mazama erupted (now Crater Lake) and covered the land with a thick layer of ash. Soon after the area becomes even drier. Lakes dry up into desert. The people abandoned the basin for generations and moved to other lakes, streams, springs, and upland watered areas.
5,500 years ago: The basin water returned and the climate condition is similar to today. People returned to the basin, made permanent settlements, and lived off the lakeshores. They utilized tule blades for baskets and boats, fished, and ground wapato bulbs to eat.
200 years ago: The climate remains relatively stable. The first Euro-Americans arrived with Peter Skene Ogden in 1827 and soon natives were relocated to reservations. The land became inhabited by ranchers with fenced cattle and herders with open range sheep.
1930s: Hard winters and dry summers took a toll on crops and livestock. Up to nine feet of tilled topsoil blew away in the desert wind. During the depression, many farms were abandoned, land was bought by the government and ghost settlements were burned. Some farmers took the opportunity to enlarge their ranches.
Present: Today 80% of the land in Lake County is publicly owned and provides valuable resource to the area through grazing, timber harvest, and recreation. In the 1960s, irrigation brought back agricultural success. Today, cattle ranchers are prolific in this region and the wide variety of landscape is a recreational benefit.

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: Other Federal Agency

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Central Oregon

County: Lake

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Volcanoguy visited Harris Schoolhouse 10/01/2007 Volcanoguy visited it

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