1883 Dillon Schoolhouse opens for "summer school’
DILLON – School is still in session in the town of Dillon. The Summit Historical Society educates anyone who walks into the original one-room schoolhouse, built in 1883, with facts, charming stories and a slide show detailing the building’s history.
Sunday, the historical society hosts an open house from 4-7 p.m. at the Dillon Schoolhouse at 403 La Bonte St., giving free tours of the old school, Lula Myers’ 1885 ranch house and a 1930s honeymoon cabin. Light refreshments and children’s activities also will be available.
“We hope by opening up and providing the tours and slide show to all of the Summit County residents that we’ll have increased visitorship, because the girls who make up the volunteer team are absolutely fabulous and knowledgeable,” tour and volunteer coordinator Karen Fischer said.
The Dillon Schoolhouse was constructed the year after the railroad arrived in Dillon, allowing builders to bring in elaborate wooden door trim and build a high, pressed-tin ceiling. The ornately carved piano, simple bookcases, stove and desks were all originally used in Summit County schools. Artifacts in the general store, which adjoins the schoolhouse, include the original post office boxes used in Montezuma until 1978.
Behind the schoolhouse stand log cabin treasures, moved from Keystone. A newlywed couple lived in the honeymoon cabin, built by a poor man when his girlfriend’s response to his marriage proposal was “Where will we live?”
“He built the cabin on land that wasn’t his with trees that weren’t his,” volunteer tour guide Ann Rutledge said. The couple lived in the cabin for a year until he secured a job in town.
Myers’ colorful story includes how the school board fired her after she decided to court a mining engineer instead of one of the two bachelors who taught at her school. Though school board records state her services were unsatisfactory and not in accordance her contract, one of her students, Marie Lindquist, later told the story of her jealous coworkers nailing boards across the school’s door to bar her. Despite the fuss she stirred, Myers’ reputation lives on at Keystone Resort, where the beginner run Schoolmarm is named after her.
The Dillon Schoolhouse is open from 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tours last one to one-and-a-half hours. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children under 13. For information about any historical tour in Summit County, call (970) 453-7798 or visit http://www.summithistorical.org. For reservations, call (970) 453-9022.
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