What's The Big News At The Society?
After many years of planning and working through the intricate details, the society was successful in the fall of 2015 acquiring the historic Mt. View Schoolhouse and moving it to Pioneer Park. Bonnie Wiesen, coordinator for the project and also an actual past librarian at the Schoolhouse has generated the history writeup below.
The little Red School House was built in 1916 as a Teachers' Cottage for the West Mountain View School. The West Mountain View School was located on the northeast corner of Terrell (now Lake Terrell Road) and Douglas Road. The Mountain View District is west of Ferndale. In 1891 the Mountain View School District was divided into West Mountain View #55, East Mountain View #20 and North Star #75. The West Mountain View School was established March 21, 1891.
In 1916, the school grounds consisted of three acres and already had the main school of three class rooms, gymnasium, outhouse, stable and wood shed. The first Teacher who stayed in the cottage taught one term and married in the cottage at the end of the term. After the wedding the cottage building was used as the class room for the primary grades.
In 1908, the enrollment numbered 111 students in grades one through ten, with three teachers. In 1945, the Whatcom County Library System was just starting and the little Red School House was the Library System's first Branch. This Branch of the Library operated until the end of 1989.
The Mountain View School District 55 consolidated with the Ferndale School District during the 2nd World War between 1942 and 1947 with the children being bussed to the Ferndale Schools. The last classes were held in June 1947. The school building and gymnasium were sold for the lumber. The little Red School House remained untouched and became the Mountain View Community Hall which continued to house the Mountain View Branch of the Whatcom County Library System. The building was also used for parties, game nights, community meetings and picnics, 4-H meetings and the meeting place for the Orthopedic Guild.
The building survived an arson fire in 1982 and was rebuilt by volunteer community members. The building also had a 4-H friends group who helped in the rebuilding, painting and landscaping.
The Mountain View School/Library has had a colorful past including the 4-H club whose members rode their horses, brought their cows, goats, rabbits and dogs to the Library on Library day for the exercise and getting the animals ready for the fair. Then there was the mama skunk that lived under the building and had her babies there for several years in a row. She happily scared people by sitting on the porch or smelling their tires, until the 4-H Club put up a sign saying "Guard Skunk on Duty". After that every visitor knew to watch for her. Other times foreign sailors (who didn't speak English) would see the Red Building with the porch light on and they would sit across the street to watch the people come and go as patrons would try to explain that the building was only a library with books.
After the closing of the Branch Library the Mountain View Community Club and Intalco Aluminum Corporation agreed that Intalco would move the building to its Totem Terrace Recreation area and care for it until it could be moved to a park. Intalco has been kind through the years about looking after the building and keeping it from harm. Everyone from the Mt View community is very grateful to Intalco.
Now the Heritage Society is planning to have the building moved to Pioneer Park. The costs of moving the building has sky rocketed and so the Heritage Society needs to do some fund raising to get the building moved. If anyone has stories, items or pictures about the Mountain View School/Library and would like to share the Heritage Society would love to have them.
For donations of money, stories, pictures or items you can contact the Ferndale Heritage Society:
Preservation of Mountain View School/Library:
Part of the mission of the Ferndale Heritage Society is to educate the community on the history of Whatcom County with discovering, collecting and maintaining any material, which may help to establish or illustrate the history of the area. The world is changing so quickly, that we need a window to the past.
There does not appear to be an unaltered school building left in the county that could be moved to Pioneer Park and preserved except the Mountain View School/Library.
The building has a colorful past as a school as well as a library, so there will be some good stories about it There are still a few people left in the area who went to the school or are associated with the Mt. View Community Club.
The Heritage Society would utilize the building in the Education Program that it runs every spring for school children. The Society shows second through fourth graders how things were done in 1880, with hands on participation at the various cabins.
The Society would love to have an open indoor space to do larger activities in, which this building would provide. We also hope to house a Library in the small room. The Society has a large quantity of donated books that need to be housed. We would also love to have an interactive history play area for small children.