This one sent me to the archives for some additional research. We know the valley was dotted with small schoolhouses back when it was difficult for children to get very far from their family farms, but the Rose Hill School isn't one I'm familiar with. Maybe Charlott will be able to fill us in, as it looks like some of her relatives may have been involved.
We only have two images of the Rose Hill School, both photocopies, and I can't find a feature called "Rose Hill" on the 1911 county map. The Glacier offers regular status reports from the Rose Hill school, so we know it was an active part of our county school district. We know from this article in The Hood River Glacier that the Rose Hill school district was formed in 1902 by breaking off from Pine Grove. This image indicates it was taken circa 1916. The 1911 county map shows another schoolhouse (simply indicated by the initials "SH") about 1 1/4 miles east of the Pine Grove school, which places it on Elder Road, along the ridge line between the Hood River valley and Mosier. The map shows a road running from Pine Grove right up to the ridge, climbing up from Wells Drive. I don't know if traces of the road still exist, but if the 1911 map is accurate, the schoolhouse was a little south of a spot mountain bikers know well, the parking area for the Whoopdee Trail. An early teacher in the district was Miss Lizzie Elder, which may be more than a coincidence.
We know from this article in The Hood River Glacier that the Rose Hill school was built on the northeast corner of Jerome Wells' place, which was described as "about the center of the district." While it's right near the Wasco County line now, back in 1903 Hood River was still part of Wasco County, so some Mosier kids must have been in the district too. This article in The Hood River Glacier tells us the school cost $700, was a 20x30 building with 12-foot ceilings and an 8x16 vestibule.
It appears the number of students in this school never topped 10. By 1920 it was down to 4, and in 1922 the Rose Hill district was defunct.
Looks like the flag pole was just recently set in place.
I look forward to Charlott's information.
L.E. on 10th December 2018 @ 7:51am
Charlott is having trouble posting, but sent me this information:
Rose Hill was located right on the very corner of my great-grandfather's homestead (on the north end.) I know the exact spot right along side of the Old Dalles Road. I think was probably called Elder Road very early on, as the Elder family was a very early family on top of the mountain.
The Wells family was down off the mountain onto Wells Drive before this school was ever built so none of them went there. I believe one of the women in the family was one of the teachers there.
That road you referred to was never completed. Dick Lester, my great uncle for some reason decided he would build a road down that would supposedly make it easier to access the top. How he figured it would I don't know, but finally decided it might not be the best idea.
I have a snow scene of Rose Hill School taken from the other side of the building.....
Arthur on 10th December 2018 @ 8:09am
In a summary of school history in a HR News centennial publication called Legacy the following appears:
"During the boom times of the early 1900's, grade schools were built on Fir Mountain and at Rose Hill, near the top of the old Mosier grade. Fir Mountain closed first. Rose Hill was in use until 1914, when nine of its twelve students moved away. At that time it was known as the most isolated school in Hood River County."
This illustrates the need (and fun) of historical research to validate various sources.
cg on 10th December 2018 @ 10:14am
Thanks cg, a good example of the need for skepticism when reading history. The HR News publication was written before there was easy access to the Glacier articles which provide contemporaneous accounts of the school's operation. I'm not sure why they thought the school closed in 1914, but that clearly was not the case.
But it's interesting that even the 1911 county map is a little misleading, showing a road which was never built. I have found a few other cases where this map is a bit "aspirational". It was published by the equivalent of a Chamber of Commerce which was trying to promote real estate sales (orchard land).
Concerning the "Fir Mountain School": There was a school at the community known as Fir (known in the Glacier as "the Fir School"), opening sometime in 1913. It was still open in November 1922. Our online copies of the Glacier end in December 1922 so I'm not sure when it closed, but it outlived the Rose Hill School.
Arthur on 10th December 2018 @ 12:12pm
I'll add that National Forest Maps from 1920, 1927, and 1931 all show a road from Pine Grove up to Elder Road. I don't know if the road was actually scratched in at some time, or they all copied it from the same source map. The cartography is suspiciously similar in how they all represent the road-- matching curve for curve.
Arthur on 10th December 2018 @ 12:23pm
The foundation of the Fir School was still in existence a decade ago and maybe still is, though the area just got logged over and it is possible that the old town site has been disrupted. Schoolhouse Creek which crosses Neal Creek Rd, just uphill from the County's "Bridge to Nowhere" is named for the Fir Schoolhouse.
longshot on 10th December 2018 @ 12:47pm
I love coming here every day for my local history lesson. It's fascinating!
Rusty Neff on 10th December 2018 @ 3:52pm
The September 1916 Oregonian lists the HR schools. Rose Hill is listed with Sylvia Elder as teacher. I couldn't find anything about the school for the following years.
In 1917 she is listed in the Mosier city directory as a teacher
In the 1920 census, Sylvia Elder lives with her brother Reuben Elder on Rose Hill. Under occupation, it says None, but she is listed as a teacher at Mosier in September of 1920.
L.E. on 10th December 2018 @ 6:32pm
Teachers at Rose Hill; Howell Metcalf 1902, Lulu Thomas, 1903, Lizzie Elder 1904-1905, Mignon Thompson 1906-1907, Helen Hunt 1910 and Lizzie Elder 1913, 1916.
LMH on 11th December 2018 @ 10:20am
I asked Charlott if the school was near the gate for 2200 Elder Road. She provided this great history in response:
This gate is located just to the right (north) of where Rose Hill School stood. As I understand it is the property line on the north end of my families homestead. I know it stood fairly close to the road and I think had some sort of shed behind for maybe wood and horses. I can check that out, as my cousin was all over those hills when those old buildings were still up.
From Rose Hill School if you go down Old Dalles Road to the south there were quite a few people living up in there. Now past the Rose Hill School the first long driveway in heading west belongs to a man whos last name starts with a K. He is Russian, Ukranian or something like that. I have visited with him once when I was up there roaming around. You go past his drive way maybe not even 1/2 mile and Old Dalles Road turns sharp to your left. Right there is the drive way that goes out closer to the rim of the mountain where my great-grandfather built him home and outbuildings. That portion of the land is now owned by Owen Clement.
Nothing of the Wells homestead remains. I was up there a few times as a child when the family house was still there. It was build right up against a big row of poplar trees they planted to help as a wind break, as the wind can roar pretty good up there. The house was basically the typical old farm house. Downstairs was a good sized parlor, a kitchen and a small bedroom. Upstairs was not finished but more like a huge one room attic. As all the children were boys except my Aunt Maggie, they all slept up there and Grandpa said it was not pleasant in the winter. He said you just layed quilts on and hoped for the best, as there was no insulation, just the old roof above you. I suppose Aunt Maggie maybe slept on a cot/bed in the parlor.
Others that lived on the road were the Elders and Mark and Mattie Thomas to name a couple of families. Mattie Thomas was a Wells. She was the sister of my great-grandfather. Also living here, but down on what we have always called the Stricker place at the corner of Eastside and Whiskey Creek where the famous red barn that was built by my Grandpa Wells and great uncle Andrew Stricker, was Warren Wells. He came fairly early and I think it was through his letters that the Thomas' and Jerome Wells families decided to come to H. R. My great-grandmother thought she had been dumped off at the end of the world when she stepped off the train in H. R. Rock Island, Illinois must have seemed like a big town to her compaired to the little hamlet of H. R. She had very nice furniture, dinner ware and things in Illinois, which she had to sell. I don't think she ever got over that.
They were up on the mountain because there was no farm land left on the valley floor. They did rent for awhile a place on Fir Mountain Road just up on the first corner from the old stone bridge. But eventually to get land of their own they had to go up on the mountain and they were there until 1901 when they were able to buy the first piece of land on Wells Drive. It was all but impossible to make any type of living up there as it was so rocky and dry. They did have two springs on the property, but had to pack water for house, livestock and garden.
Arthur on 13th December 2018 @ 6:24pm
Lizzie Elder was my great aunt, older half-sister to my grandfather, Rhuben (yes, that's the way it was spelled) C. Elder. The family came to Hood River on the train in April 1904. Here's what Grandpa later wrote about it:
We arrived in Hood River april 12, 1904. That same day the folks rented a place one mile east of Hood River; now the Bill and Lucille George place. The rental price was $10.00 per month. The house needed some repair work and Dad agreed to do the work for 20 cents an hour and it was to be applied to the rent. When we came to Hood river, the family consisted of Dad and Mother, Children: Lizzie (half sister) 1881-1945, Rhuben 1890- , Erma, 1892-1961, Sylvia 1895-1945 and Conrad 1900-1942. That same summer the folks homesteaded in the Rose Hill area east of Pine Grove. Lizzie bought a relinquishment for $150.00 that had a cabinet on it and joined the folks homestead. Late summer of 1904 we proceeded to build a house on the homestead. I hauled the lumber with a rented team and wagon from a sawmill owned by George Chamberlain which was situation on Rock Creek about two miles east of the homestead and did most of the building. We moved in on the homestead in the fall of 1904, and Lizzie taught at the Rose Hill School. We kids attended school there except for Corad, who was too young.
Lizzie never married, but after Rose Hill closed taught at Mosier area schools, including the Huskey School. There is a photo of her at the latter online in the collection of the Discovery Center.
Rodger Nichols on 22nd June 2019 @ 3:09pm
My Aunt Elma Annala Jakku taught at Rose Hill.
Maija Yasui on 1st December 2019 @ 5:26pm
Lulu Thomas was a Wells', basically as her mother was Mattie (Wells) Thomas.
Charlott on 21st July 2020 @ 2:37pm