Former students save historic Howard School

19th-century building saved from demolition

Historic Crook County school saved by students

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Howard School building, 17 miles northeast of Prineville, has a lot of meaning to former students, and when they heard about its possible demolition, they took matters into their own hands.

"We just enjoyed it," former student Val Grubbe said Friday. "We were always running, always doing something."

"We were playing games like Red Rover and Annie, Annie Over, where you throw the ball over the top of this building," said William Grubbe, who also attended the school.

"We put on a lot of plays down there, and it was always fun," said Debbie Williams.

"It brings back some memories -- some good, some bad, especially when you were in the corner," Merle Williams recalled with a chuckle.

The memories stretch across generations.

"My mom went to school here," Val Grubbe said. "They all rode horseback then."

Now, some 60 years after they went to Howard School, they're coming together to save their school.

"Everybody that went here had a great experience and loved it, and that's one reason why everyone wanted to keep it," said Lucy Woodward.

The turn-of-the-century building was empty for a while. When the new landowners announced they were going to tear it down, the students knew they had to do something.

Lucy Woodward and her husband, Craig, volunteered to move the building to their land, not far away from its original spot, last month.

"As they were pulling that building up the hill, I was thinking, 'Oh no, it's going to tip over'," said William Grubbe.

Luckily, it did not, and now they get to relive their memories.

"I'm so glad they got it," said Debbie Williams.

"It's always been kind of sacred to everyone that went here," said Woodward.

Now that the building is saved, Howard School students are hoping to find even more former classmates to share memories with.

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