WEST ANTELOPE VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

1915 SCHOOLHOUSE


This photo of the 1915 Leona Valley Schoolhouse was taken shortly after it was built.


HISTORY OF THE 1915 LEONA VALLEY SCHOOLHOUSE

Leona Valley had several one-room schoolhouses before this one which was built in 1915.  Education was important to the early ranchers so they started a school as early as 1879.  The early ones typically burned down and were replaced with larger buildings as the population increased.  About 1915 the local residents spent $1500 to build the one that has lasted over one hundred years.  It has survived being moved twice, multiple fires and earthquakes, and, worst of all, neglect.

This building was used as the Leona Valley Schoolhouse from 1915 to 1939.  It was then moved about 1/2 mile to Ritter Ranch where it served as a hunt club for many years and then abandoned.  When threatened with demolition by developers, it was rescued by the West Antelope Valley Historical Society.  In 1989 it was moved back past its original location and another 1/2 mile down the road to its current home at Heritage Park on the same property as the Leona Valley Community Building.
CURRENT STATUS OF THE SCHOOLHOUSE

The Schoolhouse is being restored as closely as possible to its original look as seen above.  Before restoration could begin, WAVHS spent several years (2010 to 2013) obtaining historical status for it.  The Schoolhouse has been designated a California Point of Historical Interest.  The Application for Registration can be found here and contains more detailed information about the Schoolhouse history and construction.

As soon as the historical status had been obtained WAVHS hired an architect who specialized in historic buildings to draw plans for the restoration (2014 to 2015).  When the plans were completed they were submitted to Los Angeles County Building and Safety to obtain permits.  The permitting process was long (January, 2015 to January, 2019) and involved, but the permits have been issued.

We are now in the process of obtaining cost estimates for various stages of the work to be done.  We are also fundraising to cover those costs.

Help us restore the 1915 Leona Valley Schoolhouse to its original appearance.  Once restored it will be used to teach elementary school children about our local history while giving them a taste of what school was like over 100 years ago for their ancestors.  All donations are appreciated and may be tax deductible.  Mail checks to WAVHS, P.O. Box 1972, Lancaster, CA  93539 or just click on the Paypal button.  You do not need a Paypal account to use it, just a credit card.
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