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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:404 Main St historic name:Fossil Public School
Fossil, Wheeler County current/other names:Wheeler County Public School, Fossil Elementary School
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:First and Jay Streets twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:
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:c.1905 second date: date indiv listed:05/22/2013
primary orig use: EDUCATION: General orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Classical Revival: other prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Stucco siding comments:
secondary siding: Concrete Block
plan type: Central Blk w/Proj Bays architect:DeYoung & Roald Architects; Charles B. Mill (1949 alterations)
builder:
comments/notes:
There is a gym at the same address, it has beeen individually documented.
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Fossil Historic Downtown RLS 2011 Survey & Inventory Project 2011
NR date listed: 05/22/2013
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date: 08/04/2011
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 Fossil Public School is located at 404 Main Street in downtown Fossil, Oregon, near the intersection of First and Jay streets. Fossil is located in north-central Oregon and is the county seat for Wheeler County. The two-story building was constructed in 1924 in the Classical Revival style to serve as a grade school and high school for the city of Fossil and surrounding rural areas. The setting of the school today is very similar to how it would have looked historically, oriented toward the west on a large, double-city block overlooking downtown Fossil. The design of the school features typical elements of the Classical Revival style. The structure is in its original location, the historic site of a school in Fossil, and has not been moved. The fabric of the school building is largely original with only minor alterations to the overall building. There is one associated building on the site, on the northwest corner of the tax lot. The contributing building is a gymnasium that has served the school since its construction in 1936 with funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Fossil Public School is a grade school today, housing kindergarten through eighth grade.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Fossil Public School is locally significant and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for the important role it played in the educational development of the rural community from 1924 to the present. The building itself is largely unchanged since its last major renovation in 1949. The Fossil Public School is a part of School District 21 in Wheeler County. The site of the Fossil Public School has been the site of a public school in Fossil since 1882, when the first school was constructed in downtown Fossil. The building has been in continuous use as a school since its construction in 1924. The Fossil Public School is locally significant, and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for the significant role the school played in the educational development of the rural community since its construction in 1924. The Fossil Public School was also known as Wheeler County Public School throughout much of its history, as it housed both the grade school and high school. The school is located in downtown Fossil at 404 Main Street, near the intersection of First and Jay streets. The two-story Classical Revival-style school building is locally significant and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for the important role it played in the educational development of this rural community since its construction. The Period of Significance of the Fossil Public School spans from its original construction date of 1924, based on the design by DeYoung and Roald Architects from Portland, Oregon, to 1949 when the Fossil High School was built and ninth through twelfth grades were transferred to the new location, which to a degree altered the way that the building was used. The gymnasium associated with the school is a contributing resource to the site, completed with aid from the Works Progress Administration in 1936, within the Period of Significance for the school. Both the school building and gymnasium retain a high degree of integrity through original design, workmanship, and material features with no alterations to the original location or function.
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:
Historical Society: Other Respository:Fossil School District
Bibliography:
Conner, Robert E. “Thomas Benton Hoover House” nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Salem, OR: Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 1978. Eagleton, Lois. “English Settlement School” nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Salem, OR: Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 2007. Fossil Journal, Fossil, Wheeler County, Oregon. Fussner, F. Smith. Glimpses of Wheeler County’s Past: An Early History of North Central Oregon. Portland, OR: Binford & Mort, 1975. Ritz, Richard Ellison. Architects of Oregon. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Shaffer, Cistie. Interview by author. Personal Interview. Fossil High School, July 11, 2012. Steiwer, Jack. Days of Yore… & Then Some More. Fossil: Finding Fossil Publishing Bunch, 1991. Stinchfield, Janet and McLaren. The History of Wheeler County Oregon. Dallas, OR: Taylor Publishing Company, 1983. Wheeler County, Oregon Deeds and Records. Deed of Sale from Maggie J. Brown to School District No. 21, January 5, 1898, Wheeler County, Oregon, Deed Book 6, Page 516 (On File: Wheeler County City Hall, Fossil, Oregon). 1924 Architectural Drawings by DeYoung and Roald Architects, Fossil Public School Collection (Cistie Shaffer). 1949 Architectural Drawings by Architect Charles B. Miller, Fossil Public School Collection (Cistie Shaffer).