North Columbia

The Columbia Hill Schoolhouse

The Columbia Hill Schoolhouse is perhaps the only remaining Gold Rush structure left in the settlement. Built for $3,000 in 1875, the shiplap-sided structure stands inside of a sharp turn of the highway, its simple, classic design quite striking against the evergreen backdrop of tall pines. This is the second schoolhouse to serve the citizens of Columbia Hill, the first was either abandoned or torn down in order to mine the ground beneath it. A man by the name of Mr. O'Neil was the first teacher, having also taught at the previous school. In 1877 his class consisted of some sixty students ranging from five to eighteen years of age. The structure served as a schoolhouse almost continuously until 1979, when it was closed for not meeting earthquake-protection standards. The local community restored the building in the early 1980's and is now known as the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. The center sponsors and produces quality events throughout the year, such as poetry readings, storytelling, art shows, folk festivals, and much more.

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