Larkspur historical Society
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Cherry School

Cherry School, known as School District 20, was built in 1877 with land donated by Gideon Pratt. Cherry-Pratt, as it was sometimes referred to, was the first school on west Cherry Creek and was located at the intersection of today�s Highway 83 and Greenland Road. A fire destroyed the first building in 1899 and the school was rebuilt one-quarter mile south on the west side of highway 83.

In the blizzard of 1913, seven children, along with their horses, were stranded alone for two days inside the building because no one could reach them. Luckily, due to the good sense of these farm children, no one was killed.

Cherry was used for community events, dances, meetings and the Cherry Homemakers Extension Homemakers Club, which held their monthly meetings and the August watermelon picnic at the school.

A large stage located in the back of the school hosted Halloween parties, games and dancing. The school had a power plant on the north side of the building by the cloakroom to generate electricity.  The barn and two outhouses were located on the west fence line during the 1930s and twenty students attended, making it one of the larger schools for southern Douglas County.

The school was closed in 1952 when District 20 was consolidated with District 40. The community of Cherry Valley raised funds to build the red brick building known as the Cherry Valley School before the organization of the Douglas County District RE1 in 1957.

In 1953, the buildings and grounds were sold to Pete Sanchez who lived there for forty-one years. Pete took the existing barn and another building and adjoined them making a cottage in which he lived. He then rented the school building. Mr. Sanchez was a well-respected rancher and a superb cowman and hunter. His knowledge of game trails in the Williams Fork Range, Ute Peak area and Gore Range was frequently requested by local hunters each season when Pete would act as a guide for their camps.

Thanks to; Douglas County Newspress 1994, Helen Arfsten and Lois Dahlberg.

Cherry Valley School, Present Day