Gibraltar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In November 1849, Jesse Van Ness settled on the farm now belonging to Marcel Kjorlie which is across the road from the former Gibraltar School grounds.  Some of the other early settlers in this school district were Ira Polly, Christian Riblet, Cyrus Hill, and Enias Carncross.

These early settlers built a log schoolhouse, which stood directly in front of the present building where the road now runs.  The first female teacher in this log schoolhouse was Jesse’ daughter, Sarah Van Ness.  The first male teacher was John Steele, who later became a Methodist minister.

The first post office was in the Jesse Van Ness house later owned by his daughter, Emma, who married James Richmond.  It was the Richmond’s son and his wife, Gilbert & Ruth (Pate) Richmond, who donated the Rock of Gibraltar to the Friends of the Native Landscape.

In 1854, Jesse Van Ness leased a piece of land to the district on which to build a new schoolhouse. The new schoolhouse was built of stone taken from Gibraltar Bluff, which Mr.Yule gave them for this purpose. The builders were William Summers and Ira Walker.  This schoolhouse cost the district $100 for the mason work.  Much of the other work was donated.

In the fall of 1854, the school opened although it was neither lathed nor plastered. In the winter, there was frost on the stones.  The first teacher in this school was Leroy Burlingame.

During the early years as many as sixty pupils were housed in this one room. They were from 5 to 21 years of age. They had black painted boards on which to write and long benches that extended across the room.  Amos F. Abbott, one of the early teachers in this district, also taught singing school during the evening.  A cement block entry room was built on in the summer of 1915.

In 1929 the wooden structure was built to replace the stone building.  It served the District # 2 children until the consolidation with Lodi in 1962. The building is now a private home.