Thursday, January 27, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Pine Grove School in Klamath County, Oregon

The Pine Grove School is one of Those Places that resonates with our Sigford family history.  The following is an excerpt from A SATURDAY IN OCTOBER: A Chronicle of the Sigfords in Klamath County By Joan G. Hill, 2004 which included  memories of Ruth and Gail Sigford as told to the author. (Text & pictures copyright by Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications, except for copyright photos from the Klamath County Museum.)


Pine Grove School, circa mid to late 1920s
Courtesy of Klamath  County Museum

The school was located a mile or so west of Olene on the Olene Hwy (Hwy 140). Mom [Ruth Sigford] attended the 1st and 2nd grades at Pine Grove school. Clem [her older brother] also attended the school, probably in the 6th and 7th grades. Mom rode Nell [the gentle old mare that had also transported her older siblings to school], and the school had a shed or barn where wood for the stove and hay for the horses was kept. There was a hitching rail in front of the school. Gail [the youngest of the siblings] was only 3 or 4 and had not yet started school. Pine Grove School was the center of the community when Mom attended this school. As a 1st & 2nd grader in Pine Grove school, having a part in the Christmas play was an important event for her.

The Pine Grove School Box socials were also big community events. All of the women and girls made box dinners and then decorated the boxes. The men would then bid on the boxes. Grand ma [Agnes Laura Sigford] made 3 dinner boxes then she would help Mom and Gail decorate their boxes. Grandpa always bid on and got Grandma's box. Mom says she remembers that Grandpa always made sure that someone bought their decorated dinner boxes.

Pine Grove School, Klamath County, circa 1953

Mom and my brothers at the schoolhouse
after visiting Aunt Gail,1952
Gail lived in the Pine Grove School house sometime between 1951-53. The schoolhouse had been remodeled by a Klamath Falls photographer, and it now had tall windows (no thermal glass!) and a huge fire place that was large enough for my 7 and 9 year old brothers to walk into and stand upright. They thought that was a cool thing to do! A lovely remodel of the old schoolhouse, but not made for a comfortable living space. It was COLD in the winter or any time the temperature dipped. A challenging experience for Gail when she lived there. In cold weather, tarps and blankets were hung around the fireplace to keep the warm air in and the cold air out – and wen it was cold, the living area was between the fireplace and the tarps. The kitchen was minimal as I remember it, a refrigerator and a hot plate. Nonetheless, it was a lovely place with wonderful memories for all of our family.

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