I had the bittersweet opportunity to go out to Rosedale School yesterday to pick up the old school bell. Rosedale is one of several historic elementary schools that are being closed by the Salem-Keizer School District.
Robert and William McGilchrist built the original Rosedale School in 1893 for $900. The one room school house had a cloak room and woodshed out back. Charlie Abbot was the first teacher at the school and earned $200 for a year of teaching. Revenue from the district’s prune orchard allowed the district to double Abbot’s salary the next year.
In 1952 the original school building burned to the ground and the school with 77 students, grades 1-8, was relocated to the Bates Road site after a consolidation of the Rosedale School District with the Salem-Keizer School District.
The community celebrated the school’s history this past week and students were given an opportunity to ring the old bell. The bell will be preserved as part of the Willamette Heritage Center’s collections. It is currently on display at the WHC in the Warehouse Building across from Max Marbles, Bookbinder.