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The Old School House

This park includes includes Wide-Awake Hollow, the oldest one-room schoolhouse in Pierce County, several outbuildings, and a tennis/pickle ball/basketball court.   


The "Old School House" is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was recently restored and a foundation constructed with a matching grant from Pierce County.


The building itself is privately operated as a membership exercise/fitness facility.  It provides an essential fitness and social opportunity for many island residents in keeping with a District goal of providing a variety of healthy recreational opportunities.  It is leased from the Park District by a private contractor.  The contractor is Wendy Field 253-884-9261.


The Park District is also working with a bat expert to protect a bat breeding colony in the attic of the School House.


Free for public use are the grounds around the Old Schoolhouse,  including the playground and court, surfaced to allow tennis, pickle ball, and basketball play. 


Two other parks - Tom White Park and Idie Ulsh Park - are within short walking distance of The Old School House.


HISTORY


In 1882, Pierce County School District No. 24 was established. Peter Christensen donated 10 acres and Nels Petterson was paid $60 to build the first schoolhouse. Completed in 1883, this first building was constructed at the intersection of Ekenstam-Johnson and Sandberg Roads. Classes in the utilitarian one-room were first only held during the three summer months. By 1886, the school term was extended to six months. In 1890, it was moved north near the present-day 1904 historic school building. Named by teacher Mary M. Eade, the school has been known since 1891 as Wide Awake Hollow School. 


Classes in the utilitarian one-room were first only held during the three summer months. By 1886, the school term was extended to six months. At the turn of the century the building was also used for Sunday School classes because the community's only church was located on McNeil Island. 


When enrollment dwindled to 7 in 1958, the school was closed - children then had to travel by ferry to the McNeil Island School.


In 1968, the Anderson Island Park and Recreation District was formed, and its first act was to preserve the schoolhouse and surrounding property. It is the oldest surviving one-room schoolhouse in Pierce County.

Park Snapshot

LOCATION

Located at the intersection of Eckenstam-Johnson Rd and 108th St.


FEATURING

Public playground & tennis/pickle ball/basketball court, private fitness center


TOILETS?

Portable toilet on the grounds


DOGS ALLOWED?

Leashed dogs allowed on the property


WATER ACCESS?

No


PARK COMMISSIONER CONTACT

Rick Anderson | 253-884-4922

randerson@andersonislandparks.org