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Time (and a bulldozer) catch up with Kellogg Marsh schoolhouse
MARYSVILLE — As of late the week of Sept. 22, one observer said about all that was left of more than 100 years of history was a few scraps that workers were loading into dumpsters.
“It’s kind of sad,” said Tom Ross, who described himself as a fourth generation Marysville resident who had relatives, including his father, who attended the old Kellogg Marsh School near the intersection of 100th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE.
Built in 1902 according to newspaper articles written years later, the school was torn down the week of Sept. 22, said Henry Otter, whose sister has owned the school property for a while.
Otter said the structure, originally a one-room school, was in extremely bad shape. He said city officials complained about the building to Snohomish County, which in turn forced Otter and his sister, Evelyn Mount, to have it demolished.
“I knew it was coming,” Marysville resident Sarah McLaughlin said of the demolition. “The school was already falling down, but it’s still so sad.
“My kids and I would drive by on the way to school and talk about what it was like 100 years ago as those children trudged off to school in the little one-room schoolhouse.”
Otter said there are no immediate plans for the former school property.
“I’m sad to have to see it go,” he said of the school, but adding his family had no wish to fight Marysville City Hall or Snohomish County. Otter is one of 11 brothers and sisters, all of whom attended the school.
If the school began as a one-room building, by the time Otter and his siblings arrived, a second room had been added as well as a lunchroom. Otter said one classroom held first and second graders, while students in older grades occupied the other room.
Otter said one of his most vivid memories of the school involves the woman who cooked the school lunches and sometimes let Otter drive her Model T Ford.
President of the Marysville Historical Society, Ken Cage said the Mount family at one point offered the school building to the society if they could move it from 67th Avenue. Cage said the society had no land available for relocating the school, which he believes was in too poor a condition to move.
“It’s a shame, but it would have been a far more major project than most people realize,” Cage said.
Besides the decaying nature of the school, Cage also worried about the possible presence of lead-based paint and other toxins in the building, which at one point was used as an auto body shop after the Marysville School District closed it in 1956.
Lyle Schadee is a local historian who works with both the historical society and the Marysville School District. He said some people incorrectly refer to the school just demolished as the Pleasant Hill School. According to Schadee, the original Kellogg Marsh School replaced the Pleasant Hill School on virtually the same spot.
According to the newspaper article held by the historical society, instruction in the Kellogg Marsh area began in 1897, at least whenever a teacher happened to be available. In 1902, a full-time teacher who was paid $55 a month began presiding over a one-room schoolhouse, presumably the Kellogg Marsh School. By 1909, the teacher had received a raise to $75 a month and the second room was added to the school in 1910.
Not incidentally, at least one piece of the original Kellogg Marsh School survived the recent demolition. When the school closed, the aging bell used to call children to classes first was moved to Cascade Elementary. Appropriately enough, it now sits at the current Kellogg Marsh Elementary School on 91st Street NE.