Historical Douglas County schoolhouse transports students back to 1899
CASTLE ROCK – In a small, fenced-in area on the northern side of South Ridge Elementary sits a piece of carefully preserved history. The Oaklands School, as it was known upon opening in 1899, is a small schoolhouse- smaller than the size of a modern classroom. According to the many class ledgers that fill a milk crate near the front door, school sizes were small- typically ranging from between five and eleven students at a time.
The school was originally located on what is now the corner of Highway 105 and Wolfensberger Road. The Douglas County School District decided to relocate the schoolhouse in order to preserve the county’s history, and local students were tapped to fix it up as a part of a project for a carpentry class.
Old furniture still fills the school, and the an ornate wood burning stove that once acted as the only source of heat for the classroom during the winter still remains. The sight is beautiful, and the natural light that fills the schoolhouse through the old wooden shutters reveals great detail in all the old wood. There are even books from early-to-mid 20th century to peruse, which have been kept in surprisingly great condition.
Above: an original photograph of a class at the Oaklands School (left), and South Ridge Elementary students re-creating the image (right).
Though many years have passed since the school last held a class session in 1958, the schoolhouse was lovingly restored in 1990, preserving this rich history on the grounds of South Ridge Elementary. Now, classes will occasionally use the space for activities, ensuring the old chalkboards get some use, and the historic photos get some attention.