HELENA NORTH VALLEY – Silver Creek School, informally known as the Little Red School House, was honored with a new monument dedicated to the 130-year-old building.
The Four Georgians Historical Society and fraternal group E Campus Vitus dedicated the brick monument to the Little Red School House on Sierra Road at a barbecue Monday.
At the turn of the 20th century, the school building was the center of the North Valley and was host to picnics, meetings and dances in addition to classes.
Floy Nicholson, 92, is sometimes referred to as the matriarch of the project that made sure the Little Red School House didn’t lose its luster.
“It’s amazing that this little school has lasted as long as it has,” Nicholson said.
Her father Floyd was a student at the school in 1914.
“Kids, some of them rode horses to school. There was a little barn…and the dads would come down and throw some hay in there, so when they come to school they’d throw a little bit of hay down to their horses,” Nicholson said.
Towards the mid-twentieth century, the school fell into disrepair.
“The windows were all broken out. There were dead birds in the windows, and it just needed to be fixed up again,” Nicholson said.
In 1980, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and much-needed maintenance helped restore it like the way it looks today.
Alex Tyhurst, Founder of the Four Georgians Historical Society 4681, said the the new monument is a way to remember the building, even when the building isn’t around anymore.
“We’ve erected a monument comprised of bricks that we’ve sold to local businesses and families, and had them engraved as well as a historical plaque,” Tyhurst said.
The bricks were sold for $100 and Tyhurst said more than 20 businesses and families purchased the bricks.
Tyhurst and his group help preserve history through Montana.
“It’s our mission to erect historical monuments in historically relevant places…and make sure that that history lives on even long after the building ceases to stand,” Tyhurst said.
There’s also more to the new monument than meets the eye. A time capsule is enclosed within the bricks. Organizers said the plan is to open it up in around 20 or 30 years.