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September 26, 2012     The Adams County Record
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September 26, 2012
 

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Page 6 Wednesday, September 26, 2012 The Adams County Record The History Corner Rare photos out of the blue By Dale Fisk -- 253-4582 A few weeks ago, when I was at the New Meadows Depot 100 year Celebra- tion, I just happened to be there when Mary Lou Jones from McCall came in with some photographs that her mother had taken back in 1915 and-'1916. Mary Lou said her mother, Ruth Barnes, was a teach- er at a rural, one-room school somewhere around Council. She pulled out about a dozen photos of the school that my dad had attended on Pleasant Ridge and of the people in that area that dad had told sto- ries about. I just about fell over. This really made my day! Mary Lou generously allowed Carla Standley to scan the photos, and I got copies. Most of you know that Pleasant Ridge is the area between the Weiser River and Hornet Creek. Most of us just call it "the Ridge," and the road there is on current maps as URidge Road." By 1915 there were enough homesteaders up there that a school was- built about a mile north- west of the intersection of Ridge Road and North Ruth Barnes boarded with Ossin E. and Maude Downs for 16 weeks while she taught at the Pleasant Ridge School. Evidently the place formerly belonged to Jim Henson, as the July 24, 1914 Council Leader men- tioned " O.E. Dowl, of Pleasant Ridge, on the Jim Henson place." Ossin was about 39 years old at the time, and Maude was about 33. They had a twelve- year-old daughter, Ethel, who Ruth said was very big for her age- bigger than Ruth was. TJaey must have had an older daughter, Florence Downs, as a girl by that name is in the photos of students : :i i ill  i !5! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!:!! Ridge Road. The July 16, 1915 Council Leader said, "Pleasant Ridge, No. 16, is a new school district on the bench, with W. D. Fitzgerald, Wm. Marks and D. J. Farlien trustees. They expect to bond for $1000 and build a modern one-room building" Bill Marks' daughters, Hazel and Mildred, are shown in the photos. They each (along with 3 of their sis- ters) married sons of Robert Harrington. Ruth Barnes must have been the very first teacher at the Ridge School. It was also her first teaching job, so she must have been very young. Judging from the descriptions she wrote on the back of the photos, she was quite taken with the scenic quality of the area. My grandparents, Jim and Mae Fisk, were living on the Ridge by 1912, but they didn't have any kids old enough to attend school in 1915. Hub was the oldest, and he was only three years old that year. By 1920, a num- ber of the families represented in these photos had given up their homesteads. Ethel Downs gradu- ated from Council High School that year, so evidently that fam- fly had moved closer to town. That fall, the Downs family moved to White Salmon, Oregon. The Ridge School is gone, with nothing left to mark its for- mer location but the concrete foundation walls. This Is a very deep, steep canyon The only note Ruth Barnes left on the back of this photo said, "Part of Pleasant Ridge Sunday School." This is on the porch of the school, so I assume they were holding Sunday School services of some kind there. Unfortunately none of these folks are identified. (If anyone thinks they recognize anyone here, please let me know.) Students at the Pleasant Ridge School in 1915-16: 1-Myrtle Johnson, 2-Truman Leach, 3- James Farlien, 4-Ethel Downs (age 12), 5-Florence Downs, 6-Hazel Marks (Harrington), 7-Jessie Farlien, 8-John Rankins (age 10), 9-Glenn Rodgers, 10-Mildred Marks (Harrington), 11-Ina May Leach, 12-Nilah Farlien, 13-Willie Farlien. Teachers's note on the back of the photo: "This is the pres- ent sum total, but they have life enough for twenty youngsters." I took this photo on Saturda3 showing the old Downs place, which now belongs to Coles, from near the Viera house, about half a mile from the end of the North Ridge Road. It was just over a mile from the Downs house to the site of the old Pleasant Ridge School. The smoke was too thick to see the "the tips of the tree covered hills" reaching the sky very well. On the back of this photo, Ruth Barnes wrote: "Looking north on my way to school. I see a deep ravine at my very feet where you see the brush and the rock on the farther side. Across that I see the farm buildings of my board- hag place. The house is left of the barn, and beyond that I see a wonderfully inspiring sweep of country gradually rising until the tips of the tree covered hills reach the sky. This too is far inferior to reality. All Pleasant Ridge is simi- lar country to this shown." This was the Downs place, now owned by Lee and D.V. Cole.