"Short History of the Little Nestucca River Valley and Its Early Pioneers" written about South Tillamook County, Oregon

The page below was written by Mrs. Hardy Rock (Alexandria Ley Rock), and published in 1949.  NVMS students have retyped her history so that many may read it.  Although some punctuation errors have been corrected the text remains as written by Mrs. Rock.

Note that Alexandria Ley Rock's "Short History of the Little Nestucca River Valley and Its Early Pioneers" has been republished in book form as of January 2007 and is now being offered for sale by the Tillamook County Historical Society!

p. 42 Sanitarium, Schools

(This page was typed by ? during the fall of 2002 and edited by Dean Bones.)


In 1925, Chris Christensen sold a piece of his farm to a Portland corporation of which a man named Smith was the principal owner.  A large sanitarium was erected not far from the old time Christensen house.  It was furnished  with all equipment, nurses, and medical supplies, ready for patients when, in 1928, it burned to the ground from some unknown cause.  It was never rebuilt.


The first school district was organized in 1877, comprising all land south of the Little Nestucca River and also some sections north of the river.  The first school house was built a little distance south of the present cheese factory.  At that time, there  were no other buildings of any kind nearer than the log house of Lewis Bosley which stood at the foot of the hill near where a house belonging to Earl Porter later stood.  The school house was built of eight foot shakes rived out of timber with an iron instrument called a frow.  These were split so evenly no planes were used.  The entire building was of shakes; the sides, roof, floor and even the seats, which accommodated two or three children at a time.  Overhead inside there was a ceiling made of two sections of eight foot shakes; the balance was open to the roof.  Two windows of small panes were on each side and one door which opened toward the road.  A large flat rock served as a stepping stone outside the door.  Water was carried by hand in a tin bucket from a nearby spring, and in it rested a tin dipper for drinking purposes.  A large iron box stove stood in the center of the room for even distribution of heat.  A small handmade wobbly table was the teacher's desk and the blackboard was a long piece of sheet iron fastened to the wall.  The eraser was a flat piece of board with a strip of sheep's wool tacked over it.

The first teacher was Rome Dunn, son of Pioneer John and Zurelda Dunn.  His sister, Ella Dunn, the second teacher, was followed by Byron Herrick.  Esther Crawford (who later became the wife of Jeff Shaw, who was a brother of Mrs. James B. Upton) was the fourth teacher, followed by John Rock (brother of Hardy Rock).  In 1887, Alexandria Ley (who became the wife of Hardy Rock) taught a six months school from April 1 to October 1.  Previous to this, the school term had been three months.  The children walked long distances to school barefooted.

For her school services all summer, Miss Ley was paid twenty-five dollars a month and board around; this meant one week at a time in the home of a pupil.  She taught the last school held in that school house.  On the last day of the term, she suddenly dismissed the children because one upper corner of the north side was blown loose in the storm, threatening the collapse of the entire structure.
In 1886, the district divided into three; namely Oretown, Meda, and Neskowin.  In 1887, Jay H. Upton, then a boy of eight years, and son of Pioneer James B. Upton, and grandson of W. W. Upton (Justice of Oregon Supreme Court 1872-7) attended our school at Oretown.  Later he became a lawyer, a member of Oregon Legislature for thirteen years, President of the Senate in its 1923 session and sought the office of Governor of Oregon in 1924.

A pupil at the same school for some years later was Fred Christensen (second of Pioneer Christopher Christensen) who later became a cheese maker and served for thirty-two years as Cheese Inspector in Tillamook County. 

After the wreck of the "Carmarthon Castle", the school pupils placed a large printed sign over the school house door, Carmarthon College".

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