History of NCCS
North Cow Creek School was first called Bell School after Mr. J.H. Bell who donated 2.7 acres of land for one dollar to the district for a school ground. By 1920 the name had been changed to North Cow Creek School. At that time there were about thirty-five students and one teacher. As a few of the students came from quite a distance, they rode horseback, so there were usually two or three horses tied at the back of the schoolyard every day. One teacher came in a horse- drawn buggy. If the teacher was not a local resident, they usually boarded with one of the families in the district.
The original building was roomy with a large front porch. There was a well on the porch with a hand pump for water. There was a big stage with a library on one side and an ante room or storage room on the other side. The school building was the center of all neighborhood functions, such as programs, parties, dances, and literaries furnished entertainment for all. Sunday school was held each Sunday. Basket socials were also enjoyed. This first building burned in the late 1930's. The neighbors got together and remodeled the wood shed for a school room. School was held in this room until a new building was erected in 1941. This was the first time North Cow Creek had indoor plumbing. (click here to read the Interview with Adair Boyle who attended North cow Creek in the 30's) As attendance was only about twenty students, one building was sufficient until the mid forties and then two teachers were hired. The lower grades were in the small room (woodshed) and the upper grades in the new classroom.
Picture of school in 1940'
s In the 1960's there again was a fire. The building was severely damaged but not burned to the ground. The remainder of that year the students were bussed to Palo Cedro and school was held in a two-room building that belonged to Millville Grange. When school started again in the fall, the building had been repaired and newly painted. Former student 1981 graduate, Cheryl Blankenship:
I had Mrs. Fischer, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Cropsey, Mrs Caesar, Mrs. Tinkler, Mr. Helm, Mrs Silva, Mrs Peterson. When I started at the school in May of 1974 as a first grader I was the 50th student at the school. That was back in the day when our moms made hot lunch 2 days a week and Mr. Jones was our Custodian, Mrs Goodman our Principal. We, as girls, had designated Fridays we could wear pants. Kids that went to NCCS were bused to Junction for Kindergarten.
It was always such a caring community. When I tell my big city friends about my little country school, I share with them a story about being new to the school and the principal calling me to her office. She asked me if I had had breakfast with my father that morning. I said no, I didn't and went back to class. It turns out a police officer with the same name as my father (Ron Blankenship) had been shot and they assumed it was my dad and rallied the troops to start bringing food to our home. Fortunately I did not have breakfast with my dad because he was on a construction site in Alturas!
I still well up with tears when I think about each of us that went to school there when the gym was built getting to put our little handprints in the sidewalk that led to the gym/multipurpose room.
My dad built the ramp to the 2 room building. He took the boards down from the side where the ramp would be and never letting anything go to waste, brought them home where we removed the blue/green paint and stained those boards, full of carvings of schoolchildren and pencil holes and used them as shelves in our home for years.
Thanks for the memories!
Later another building the same size was built back-to-back to the existing building and the same small building was no longer a classroom but was used for storage. Since that time many new classrooms and a library have been built. as well as a gymnasium with kitchen facilities. A science lab and new 5th grade classroom were built. Today the science lab is the home school room.
A new non-permanent building was built in 1996 for the second grade class. In 2001 it was converted to the music/choir room. And in 2001 the room was again changed, and became the 5th grade classroom and the 6th grade classroom the following year.
In 1999 the Jones Valley Fire ripped through Palo Cedro and almost engulfed North Cow Creek in flames. But due to the bravery of three individuals - Rex McClung, Kyle Miller, and Mark Walcott - the school was saved. Only parts of the school property was damaged, mostly grass and a sign, and no buildings were lost. The fire did, however, burn down many nearby homes. See pictures of the fire at right.
In 2001 two brand-new classrooms were built for one 7th grade class and one 8th grade class. Along with the classroom came a new cement quad area with picnic tables and round benches that serve for sitting and to hold dirt for trees.
Click on the picture to see the class of 1896-97
Here are the names of the students in this first class:
Back Row: Ralph Bell, Alice Williams, Sallie Isaacs, Charlie Huett, Willie Ashton, Lottie Cutter Second Row: Mrs.J.L.Bell(teacher), Myrtle Hastings, Harry Cutter, Gus Hastings, Carl Cutter, Charles Ashton, Mattie Thomas (?), Edith Bell. Third Row: Ross Cutter, Fred Doelker, Willie Leach, Unknown, Pearl Warren, Maude Ashton, Roy Hastings, Elmer Grey, Carl Doelker. Front Row: Gussie Doelker, George Hastings(?)
click here to see a picture with the names: