As for education

Continuing with Gerald Nathan Hodgson’s Northwest family narrative, with thanks to Michael Howard Hodgson:

About 1909, a school district was organized here fairly early, and a long series of teachers followed. Some of the teachers were: Bessie Manley, Nellie Masterson, Clara Hiller, Nellie Oldham, Inger Anderson, Nellie Blatchley. In my day there were Mrs. Alex Anderson, Mrs. Ed Smith, Lucille Adele Sargent (who taught three years), Irene Mason (Mrs. Whitehead), Sue Holiday, Georgia Roberts, and finally, my cousin, Aurel Long. After some neighborhood squabbles, a log schoolhouse was constructed and used for many years. It was just discontinued before I started to school in the new frame building nearby. The schoolhouse was built about halfway between the two largest families — the Del Hodgsons and the John Hollenbecks — on what is now Lakins’ Flat. So we had about a mile and a quarter to walk to school along a somewhat different road than the one that now exists.

The present road was built in 1928 when the school had shrunk to five children and we consolidated with Orient so as to have a High School. Just in time for me to attend high school — I graduated in three years, however, with a then minimum of 30 credits, in the spring of 1931.

The Boulder Creek (Poverty Flat) school rarely operated more than eight months in anyone year — for farm children an early closing was much more practical; however, the school could not have existed at all if it were not for the tax base provided by the long stretch of railroad track which went through the district. The present system of attendance allotments with their additional centralized controls was not working then, though it may have been creeping up on us toward the last as during the last two or three years we could only keep the school open six months annually. The year Aurel taught, we had only five pupils. The district bought the books during all the time I attended grade school, however. Dad had to buy books for his large family when the school first opened, and was especially burnt up because the books bought for the first very brief term became obsolete as an approved course of study, the very next year. Either bureaucratic nonsense or a book publisher’s racket, perhaps a little of both!

I checked back to a report card for 1924-25 and found we had only seven months school that year. Sue Halliday was teacher and she taught us how to make baskets out of pine needles and I also learned how to do chain stitch embroidery!

We were permitted to take as many as three state exams every Spring. I graduated from the 7th and 8th grades piecemeal, a few [exams?] at a time.

The years I went to high school, I rode on a homemade bus driven by my brother Victor who supplied the bus and fuel and took the job on contract. He just managed to survive on what he made. He was better paid later when he drove a school-owned bus for just $50 a month, later $60 on a nine-month basis.

The Orient, Washington, schoolhouse built in 1910.



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