The Summit Schoolhouse on Hwy. 70, just West of Vinton, CA, was built in 1868 and turned 150 years old this year, 2018. Martin Meyer, of Meyer Painting, recently finished repainting the school. The last few years took its toll on the outside of the structure, but Martin made a huge effort to preserve as much as he could, with keeping everything in tack, prior to the painting.
The school was purchased by Ed & Diane Yang, in 2015. Ed, being a retired High School teacher, and both appreciating historic buildings, made this purchase just the right fit. It has been their intention to have enough antique furnishings to show what the school would have looked like, in its time, but with enough conveniences to make it comfortable for their getaway place.
The school previously was located several miles East, in the Chilcoot/Summit area. In 1884, the school was moved to its present location, where there were more school-aged children. Many descendants still live in the area.
In 1938, a room was added to the back of the one-room school. The extra room was need for schooling, as well as creating inside bathrooms for the boys and girls. Later, when Jim & Katie Freedman (Reno High School teachers) purchased the school from the Summit School District, they had many restoration projects, which included turning the boys' bathroom into a shower area, adding a kitchen, refinishing the original wood floors, re-slating the roof, etc.
Last year, 2017, Summit School was one of the venues for the Sierra Valley Art and Ag Trail. Over 430 people visited the schoolhouse, in one day. Diane commented, "We were surprised how many, in the community, have connections to the school, through previous relatives or other means. It was touching to know there is a lot of sentiment, since it is our intention to preserve the building, as much as we can."
This year, the schoolhouse will also be part of the trail, for the one-day event, on Saturday, September 29, 2018. For information regarding the Sierra Valley Art and Ag Trail, please visit the following links: https://www.sierravalleyartagtrail.org/ and www.facebook.com/SierraValleyArtAgTrail/.
There is a Lending Library, located in the driveway of Summit School. Everyone is invited to borrow books and magazines, bringing them back when finished. Through generous donations of books, Ed & Diane turned the Carriage House into a library, where they added bookcases to store the books. The Carriage House Library will be open intermittently. Unfortunately, in the Winter, the driveway is inaccessible and both the Driveway and Carriage House Libraries are closed.
Ed and Diane love to show the Schoolhouse to those stopping by. It was built and run by the community where they believe it should remain available to tour, when possible. They are happy to take part in trying to preserve a piece of history.