Started in 1860 by Henry McClurg as the settlement of Park Place, Monroe experienced rapid growth in the early 1900s due to its rich farmlands and abundant timber, and its proximity to the Great Northern Railroad. Monroe is scenically set against the foothills of the Cascade Range, near where the Snoqualmie and Skykomish Rivers join to form the Snohomish.
The Monroe Historical Society is sponsoring a program on Saturday, May 17,2014 on the early “one room” and pioneer schools that dotted the area until the 1950s. These included Wagner, Roosevelt, and Park Place Schools. The event will be held from 1pm to4pm at the Tualco Grange, 18933 Tualco Rd, which was formerly the Tualco School. All alumni of these schools as well as the general public are invited to attend. There will be several speakers, photographs, and momentos. Refreshments will be served. This will be a time to socialize with alumni of the schools and share the rich heritage of Monroe schools. Please bring any stories or photos you wish to share.
Pioneer schools in Monroe were largely one room schoolhouses although some like Park Place were as large as four room schools. Across the United States, these one room schoolhouses had a major part in the education of the country’s children. In 1913, as many as half of the country’s school age children were enrolled in one room school houses of which there were more than 212,000. These schools often emphasized the development of moral and spiritual values along with basic academic skills of the 3R’s(reading, writing, and arithmetic). Teaching in a one room schoolhouse was a challenge since teachers might be responsible for students ranging in age from 6 to 20 requiring a large number of individualized lessons.
In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt formed the National Commission on Country Life to help find solutions for the problems of rural life including the inconsistency of education. It was Roosevelt’s intent to guarantee quality education for all children even those attending one room or schools. The result of the commission’s findings was a consolidation of smaller schools into larger school districts. This allowed for the development of a uniform curriculum along with teaching training and standards.
Plan to attend this community event to celebrate the early education in the Monroe area. This year master quilter, Janet Osborn , along with Gail Dillaway of the Historical Society , have created a commemorative quilt featuring photos of the early Pioneer Schools. The quilt will be on display at the Reunion and raffle tickets for the quilt will be on sale.
In Anticipation of the upcoming historical society May program on local “one room” schools in the area we would love to hear from any of you out there who attended or have stories or photos of any such schools, such as Tualco, Wagner, Roosevelt, Park Place, etc. Contact us by any of several ways noted or just drop by the museum!