Schooling is an important aspect of any community. In Oak Glen, the first class was taught by Miss Foy in pioneer Enoch Parrish’s living room. For the next several years, she taught school in his cobbler shop.

A wood schoolhouse on skids was built in 1889 and used for 38 years. It was moved by a team of horses from one side of the glen to the other. Its most permanent home was on the Wilshire Ranch next to the creek across the road from where the stone schoolhouse is located. There was also a playground for the children and a corral nearby for the horses that were used as transportation to school.

In 1927, the community decided to build a two story permanent structure. It had standard “stick” framing with an exterior of stones brought by horse and sled from Mill Creek. It replaced the wood schoolhouse and provided students with “modern” central heating consisting of a coal burning heater downstairs and “modern” indoor plumbing. The school served the families in this apple growing community for 37 years. Because the building failed to meet the newest earthquake standards as stated in the Field Act of 1965, the school was closed. It currently houses a collection of vintage desks, books and teaching materials.

Ranch owner Joe Wilshire donated 1.2 acres of land for the school’s location, which was adjacent to the Wilshire Ranch. On May 13, 1927, the board called for a school bond election, set for June 4th of that year. The Redlands Daily Facts reported on May 13,1927, “It is expected that the bonds will carry without opposition for the people of the district are very much in favor of it.” Residents in the Oak Glen School District voted 12-0 for a $7,000 bond to build the new school. The amount may seem low, but by comparison Model A Fords were selling for only $471.31.

The bond, needed to finance construction of the new school, was purchased by the only bidder, Elmer J. Kennedy of Los Angeles. The building, constructed with native stone from Mill Creek, was built by H.B. Duke and his son Lee Duke. Holsinger’s Lumber & Hardware Company of Yucaipa took the construction contract, allowing area builders to work on the school to pay off bills they owed at the hardware store.

When construction was finished on the new stone school, a house warming was held for the entire community February 18, 1928. The last teacher in the little wood school became the first teacher in the new stone school. This was Mrs. H. B. Sanderson.

In 1929, 20 students attended the new Oak Glen School. Fall enrollment was expected to double during apple season when migrant farm workers’ children were living here with their families.

“The new school building and grounds also served as a community center,” said an article in the Redlands Daily Facts, dated June 4, 1927. Blackie Wilshire’s wife, Edna, held many gatherings here including memorable St. Valentine’s Day parties. The upper level was the class/community meeting room and the lower level was a cafeteria/playroom.

Community members and students were saddened when it was closed to students by California government officials 37 years later due to the Field Act of 1965. This law enforced more stringent earthquake standards in all California public schools. Grace VanHorn was teacher at that time.

Historic Oak Glen Schoolhouse in the snow.