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Pinedale Online > News > September 2023 > Documentary on Emerson Schoolhouse Sept. 7th

Documentary. Photo by Pinedale Online.

Emerson School. Photo by .
Emerson School

Classroom. Photo by Pinedale Online.

One Room Life Lessons. Photo by .
One Room Life Lessons

Map to Emerson Schoolhouse. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Map to Emerson Schoolhouse
Documentary on Emerson Schoolhouse Sept. 7th
Open House at the Schoolhouse Sept. 9th
by Pinedale Online!
September 6, 2023

Two events are happening in early September highlighting the story of a unique rural Wyoming one-room schoolhouse in Sublette County. The first is the premiere of a documentary on Thursday, September 7th in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library and the second is an Open House at the schoolhouse on Saturday, September 9th from 10AM to 3PM.

The Emerson Schoolhouse operated from about 1914 to 1959 in the rural Boulder, Wyoming area serving children of nearby ranching families. Later, children were bussed to the Boulder school and the Emerson school was closed. It started out as part of Fremont County, then came under Sublette when it became a county in 1923. It served class sizes of from one to about 18 students of all grades in one room in any given year. There were several years in the 1940s when it was closed, possibly from lack of students.

In 2009, Jud, Claire and Harold Faler purchased the Zembo Ranch upon which the Emerson Schoolhouse was located. The family took on the project of cleaning and restoring the schoolhouse. Claire then donated the property and about one-half acre to the Sublette County Historical Society in 2020. The property includes the log schoolhouse, the pump water well, flag pole, swing, and two-holer outhouse.

Brooks Mitchell, a Colorado man with deep ties to Sublette County, stumbled upon the property during his outings around Wyoming and became enthralled with the story of the schoolhouse. He took on the project of finding out more about itís history with the aim of making a documentary about it. He did a lot of research, traveled across the country to interview former students and teachers, did video interviews with people familiar with the school, and worked on the project for several years nearly completing it. Unfortunately, in May of 2023 he passed away. Knowing his time was limited, he arranged to have friends and family complete the project for him, which they did.

Now the family has asked the Pinedale Library to be the host for the premiere showing of his documentary. The showing of "One Room Life Lessons" will take place on Thursday, September 7th, at 6:00PM in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library. After the program, there will be a Q&A with several people including former student Glenna Grinder Johnson, former teacher Evelyn Evans Lohman, local historian Jonita Sommers, and Claire Faler.

Then on Saturday, September 9th, the Sublette County Historical Society invites everyone to come out to an Open House at the schoolhouse from 10AM to 3PM. This is the first public showing of the restored schoolhouse since it closed in 1959. Light refreshments will be served.

The schoolhouse is located at 342 East Fork Big Sandy Road 23-133. Travel tip: do not trust your GPS to get to this site, it could take you down some rough non-preferable roads. We suggest you follow these directions. From Pinedale, go south on US 191 approximately 25 miles past Boulder and Sand Draw. About 3.7 miles past Sand Draw, turn left/east onto the Muddy Speedway 23-113. Travel approximately 7.4 miles to the road junction with East Fork Big Sandy Road 23-133, and turn left at the Y. The schoolhouse is about another .17 mile on the left. If coming from Boulder on Hwy 353, travel approximately 15.5 miles to where the pavement ends and turn right on the East Fork Big Sandy Road 23-133 just past the cattle guard. The schoolhouse is about 3.5 miles down the road on the right. Watch for signs. There is plenty of parking.

Note that this is a remote rural location with no services nearby. Cell phone reception may be marginal or non-existent for some carriers.

Teachers view. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Teachers view

Evelyn Evans. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Evelyn Evans
Teacher 1954-1956

Gary Jensen. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Gary Jensen
Student 1950-1958

Laura Jensen. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Laura Jensen
Student 1953-1959

Chris Jensen. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Chris Jensen
Student 1957-1959

Glenna Grinder. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Glenna Grinder
Student 1951-1954

Brooks Mitchell. Photo by One Room Life Lessons.
Brooks Mitchell

Water well. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Water well

Flagpole. Photo by Pinedale Online.

Stove. Photo by Pinedale Online.

Play area. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Play area

Swing. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Pinedale Online > News > September 2023 > Documentary on Emerson Schoolhouse Sept. 7th

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