History of the Delake School

The first Delake School was built in 1925 and consisted of two small wooden buildings located where the Delake School building is today. Mr. Hostetler, an early settler who owned many acres surrounding the D River, donated about two acres of land for the school. These classrooms did not replace the many one-room schoolhouses thatalt dotted the area, but were in addition to these rural schools and provided a location in town. Until that time, students had to walk up to four miles to attend school at the schoolhouse nearest to them. The two small classroom buildings were moved to Oceanlake when the new school building was constructed.

In the late 1920s Henry Hostetler, among other Delake residents who witnessed a rapidly growing population, saw the need to construct an elementary school large enough for all the grade school students in the area to attend. Construction of the Delake School was begun in November 1927 at 540 North Coast Highway (now HWY 101). The new brick building was designed by Portland architect Charles B. Martin.

The school building was “completed” in 1929. By September 1930 it still had only two finished classrooms. It had no restrooms, just two wooden “privies” out back. The two schoolrooms housed four grades each. In July of 1931, work on the second unit of the Delake School was begun, to improve the building and add more classrooms.

altAfter World War II, the school needed work again. On September 10th 1945 the Delake School did not open along with other area schools. Opening was delayed until a sorely needed heating plant was installed, replacing the old wood-burning furnace. Work on the building included construction of a 45’x57’ addition to the building, costing $34,942.

According to this account by Grace Harbinski, the school was in dire need of these improvements in the mid to late 1940s.

“An interesting sidelight about the schools when we came down here, the conditions were hard then for the schools, too. The town was growing very, very fast, and there just wasn’t facility enough. And when my youngsters went down to school, my daughter went to school down in the lower basement in the cafeteria.

We had just been in the habit of shining shoes every week, making sure they were shined. We always shined them on Saturday. That’s the day to shine themalt. She said, “I don’t need to shine my shoes.” I said, “Why?”

“She says, “I don’t have to because there’s so much water on the floor down there that we have to wear our overshoes all day long!” That was at Delake.

And I remember the first time I went to her classroom to visit her, the classroom was so crowded! I don’t know if her teacher was Mrs. or Miss Ferguson, but that seems that was her name. They didn’t have enough chairs, and somebody had brought in three of these little vanity desks like you have in a bedroom. And they used these the whole year through. So the schooling was very serious, then. It just grew too fast with the town growing. And Delake was all eight grades.” (Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Volume 2, page 100)

In September of 1946, Harry Hostetler gave the school an additional five acres of land adjacent to the original tract of land he had donated for the school. The intent of his donation was to expand the existing school grounds and provide playground facilities. The five-acre tract was located directly behind the school building and extended eastward toward the lake. The inclusion of this land guaranteed the school adequate ground for expansion in later years, as well as solving the problem of additional playground space.

In 1957 more construction was done on the building. The architect was a Mr. F. M Stokes of Portland, but no other details are known.

1969 Delake School Building Description An “L” shaped wood frame school structure of one story built on a concrete slab. The exterior has brick facing and the interior walls are plaster. There is a partial daylight basement on the south end of building with crawl space over classrooms. The building is divided into a multi-purpose room or gymnasium (8,400 sq. ft.), classrooms (8,540 total sq. ft.), administrative area (216 square feet), kitchen and dining area, toilets, boiler room. Stairs connect to central corridors.

*Vintage photos and history courtesy of the North Lincoln County Historical Museum.

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