Larkspur historical Society
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Spring Valley School

Situated on the Palmer Divide at the intersection of Lorraine Road and Spring Valley Road near Larkspur, Colorado is the Spring Valley School. The school stands today virtually as it was 130 years ago. Dr. Robert Beadles and his wife, Mildred, purchased the structure in 1974 when it was in very bad condition. They have completely restored the school building, barn, out house, and privy over a period of several years. The school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 in "recognition of this property's significant contribution to the heritage of the State of Colorado." In 2009 the school was placed on the Douglas County list of historical properties. Today it is used as a weekend retreat for the Beadles.

Spring Valley School

The exact date of construction is not known. Douglas County School records held by the Colorado State Archives show School District 3 as a district in 1865. Denver Daily Tribune article dated January 31, 1878 reported the Incorporation Articles for the Divide Grange No. 53 and stated the principal office would be the Spring Valley School.  It is believed that the first school might have been in the home of Jacob Geiger and later the school as we know it today was built to accommodate a larger population of children. We know the building existed as of 1878 as a photo of the Divide Grange shows them seated in front of the building.

The settlement of Spring Valley was settled July 10, 1860 by George Redman, Jopselph Gile, Lincoln, two men named Sheldon and Spencer and a small boy as noted by historian Josephine Marr. This small town was on the west Cherry Stage Road from Frankstown South to Colorado City. In addition to the school, the town included the Geiger store which was directly west of the school, a stage stop and hotel on the Gile Ranch, pioneer cemetery, blacksmith shop and Grange Store, a cheese factory and saw mill. Spring Valley also had a post office in 1865 which was run out of the home of George Redman a first settler and later closed in 1885. Many pioneers of Douglas County attended Spring Valley School and are buried nearby in the Spring Valley Cemetery. The school was used for a meeting place for various organizations and community events including the local Grange. School desks were moved back for square dances, weddings, funerals and voting. The school was closed in 1946 when the population of the area decreased. To the many families whose lives were forever impacted by this rural one room school, it is a cherished memory.

Inside Spring Valley School - 1894
The teacher in 1894 was Effie McDowell, seated on the left. Twenty-eight students represent nine local families. Those families are; McDowell, Smith, Brown, Geiger, Dolan, Bucks, Gandy, Thomas and Scott.

School account sheet from 1894/5.