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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:25381 SW Airport Rd historic name:Independent School
Philomath, Benton County current/other names:
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr: twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:12S 6W 25
resource type:Building height (stories):1.0 total elig resources:2 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1919 second date: date indiv listed:05/28/2013
primary orig use: School orig use comments:
second orig use: SOCIAL: General
primary style: Bungalow (Type) prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Horizontal Board siding comments:
secondary siding: Shingle
plan type: architect:Fred H. Seedenburg
builder:
comments/notes:
Not associated with any surveys or groupings.
NR date listed: 05/28/2013
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Independent School is located at 25381 SW Airport Avenue, just over three miles south of Philomath, Oregon, in Benton County near the intersection of Fern Road and Airport Avenue. Fred H. Seedenburg originally constructed the one-story building in 1919 in the Craftsman style to serve as a schoolhouse for the surrounding area. The one-room schoolhouse is framed in wood and is covered by a gable roof. The building has been used for a variety of functions since it ceased to be a school, including as home to a number of different churches and its current use as the Independent Community Center. The design of the school features typical elements of the Craftsman style including knee braces supporting overhanging eves. The school’s setting is rural with minimal vegetation and very few surrounding structures, similar to its original setting. The construction of the schoolhouse is mostly original with few alterations to the building with the exception of an addition on the east side of the original volume circa 1950. These alterations have not, however, damaged the historic feeling of Independent School. There is a single, small contributing outbuilding, built circa 1930, on the site of the Independent School, which is used as a pump house for the main building.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Independent School is locally significant, and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for the significant role that it has played in the educational development of the rural Benton County community from 1919 to 1952. Several individuals from within the rural community were associated with the Independent School, both as students and teachers, during its operation. An average of 15-30 students attended the Independent School at any one point during each school year, with a range of ages and grades. A single teacher was responsible for educating the students, which was a standard method of education at this time in rural one-room schoolhouses in Oregon. The schoolhouse was a self-sustaining independent entity that was directed solely by the teacher, while students would be responsible for everyday tasks including bringing wood in to stock the wood stove that once kept the occupants of the schoolhouse warm. The experiences and education that Independent School provided for its students would leave an impact on those individuals for the rest of their lives, reinforcing the effect that the Independent School had on the education of the youth and community as a whole. The Independent School is located at 25381 SW Airport Avenue, just over three miles south of Philomath, Oregon, in Benton County, near the intersection of Fern Road and Airport Avenue. Ernest and Anna Seehafer deeded 1.85-acres of land with the agreement that it would be used for a school to serve the area. Fred H. Seedenburg, a local contractor, constructed the one-room schoolhouse in 1919 for School District No. 19 with the name “Independent School.” The one-story, wood-frame schoolhouse with modest architectural detailing was occupied by an average of 15-30 students per year under the instruction of a variety of different teachers. The Independent School functioned as a one-room schoolhouse from 1919 through 1952, at which point students were transferred to schools in Philomath as part of a consolidation of school districts in Benton County. Many of the individuals who attended the school that were still alive in 1999 were contacted as a part of a survey and many had fond memories of their time spent at the school as children. In 1955, the schoolhouse and the land were deeded to the Independent Community Club, where it remains a significant resource to the community today. The community constructed a building addition to the east façade of the one-room schoolhouse in the early 1950s in order to ensure the buildings’ continued use. The Independent School retains a high level of integrity both in its original design with minimal alterations and continued association with the community and rural setting, and continues to clearly convey its historical function and appearance. The Independent School is locally significant, and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for the significant role that the school played in the educational development of the rural community over a period of 33 years.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
Sanborn Maps Biographical Sources SHPO Files Interviews
Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
City Directories Building Permits State Library
Local Library: University Library:X
Historical Society: Other Respository:Local Governmnet
Bibliography:
Aerial Photography. Air Photos of 25381 SW Airport Avenue, Philomath, Benton County, Oregon. University of Oregon Knight Library. 1936, 1944, 1948, 1956, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1993. Benton County, Oregon Assessors Office, Benton County Assessor’s Map, Benton County, Map 12625A, (Benton County Assessor’s Office, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Assessor’s Office. Property Account Details, 25381 SW Airport Avenue, Philomath, Benton County, Oregon, Account #176838, Map/Taxlot: 12625A001400 (Benton County Assessor’s Office, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Sale from Ernest and Anna Seehafer to School District No. 19, 19 July 1918, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 64, page 607 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Sale from Ernest and Anna Seehafer to School District No. 19, 13 July 1928, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 79, page 327 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Sale from Consolidated School District No. 31 to Independent Community Club, 10 March 1954, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 149, page 244 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Quitclaim from William Seehafer et al, heirs of Ernest and Anna Seehafer, to Independent Community Club, 18 July 1958, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 164, page 481 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Quitclaim from Herbert and Sylvia Seehafer, heirs of Ernest and Anna Seehafer, to Independent Community Club, 29 January 1959, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 167, page 117 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Sale from Herbert and Sylvia Seehafer, heirs of Ernest and Anna Seehafer, to Independent Community Club, 15 May 1959, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 168, page 566 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Benton County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Total Quitclaim from heirs of Ernest and Anna Seehafer, to Independent Community Club, 23 April 1959, Benton County, Oregon, Deed Book 171, page 314 (Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, Oregon). Cary, Lauren and Mann Family. Independent School Memories. Philomath: Independent Community Club Collection, Nd. Chapman, Floyd Adare. Reflections: Stories of My Life. Philomath: Benton County Historical Society, 1986. Corvallis Gazette Times. “Schoolhouse Reunion Planned,” Corvallis, Oregon, Gazette Times, 22 July 1999. Eagleton, Lois. “English Settlement School,” nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Salem: Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 2007. Independent Community Club Private Collection. “Construction Contract between School District No. 19 and Fred H. Seedenburg to build Independent School,” 10 October 1919. (Independent Community Club, Contact: Katherine Harris, Corvallis, Oregon). McDonald, Marlene. When School Bells Rang: Schools of Benton, County, OR. Philomath: Mac Publications, 1983. Metsker Maps, Metsker’s Map of Benton County, Oregon. Tacoma, WA: Metsker Maps, 1929, 1938, 1962. Oregon Historic Site Record, 25381 SW Airport Avenue, Philomath, Benton County, Oregon (Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Salem, Oregon). Vaughn, Betty Zimmerman, Dean Almgren, Ethel Reeser Cosco, Faye Ireland Hilburn, Jimmie Fields, Kenneth Wayne Durrell, Larry Swain, Maud Martin Corl, and Richard Ott. Independent School Historical Survey. Philomath: Independent Community Club, 1999. Weber, Mary Kathryn and Kathy Schutt, Benton County Cultural Resources Survey II, Independent School (Resource No. 447), 1984-1986 (Benton County Historical Museum, Philomath, Oregon). Wm. G. Obenauer & Co, and Portland Seed Company. Corvallis and Philomath Directory. Portland [Or.]: Wm. G. Obenauer & Co, 1951, 1953, 1965, 1984, and 1998.