This ad appeared in the August
19th, 1898 edition of the Castle
Rock Journal, announcing the opening of the new Castle Rock
Cantril School as it appeared
in an early photograph from the newspaper. Photo by F. Reistle of
Denver, CO. Douglas County History Research Center #1992.001.0678.0006.
The first Douglas County High
School. Students attended school here after the high school classes
were removed from Cantril. Made of brick, this building burned down in
1909 and a rhyolite school was built to replace it. c. 1910. Douglas
County History Research Center #96050
Photopostcard of the Douglas
County High School c. 1925. This building replaced a brick one that
burned down. It is now used as administration offices for the Town of
Castle Rock and the Douglas County School District. Douglas County
History Research Center #93004-003.
grade students posing by the Cantril School. October 1915. Junior
Teacher: Miss Grace Sayer, Senior Teacher: Miss Gertrude Kelly. Douglas
County History Research Center
Cantril School was placed on
the National Register of Historic Places by the Douglas County
Historical Society. Cantril School, North View June 2000. Douglas
County History Research Center.
Creation Of A New School District
.....One of the earliest
districts organized in Douglas County was Castle Rock, District 5. The
1865-66 school year saw eight students attending school near present
day Castle Rock. These students may have attended school in a private
home, as there are no records from the period which identify a school
building. Castle Rock was not organized as a town until 1874, when lots
were sold at the townsite and it became the Douglas County seat.
Building Erected in Castle Rock
1874, the school district was reorganized as District 11 and a two
story wooden schoolhouse was built between Lewis, Cantril, Third and
Fourth Streets. The building had a barbed-wire fence surrounding it to
keep out the livestock which freely roamed the area.
.....Ten years after the construction of the school at
Third and Cantril, Douglas County High School classes were added. This
high school was the first in the county, and offered the highest level
of education available in the county at the time. Students were charged
admission of one dollar per month if they came from "outside the
district." (presumably the Castle Rock District.) Families from all
over the county sent their children to live in Castle Rock so that they
could attend the high school during the winter. In mid-November of
1896, the wooden building which had served as the Castle Rock school
for 22 years burned to the ground, reportedly due to a defective flue.
Comes to Life
was held to appropriate funds, and bids were taken for a new school to
be built in Castle Rock. Many builders submitted proposals for the new
building. Robert Rauschlaub, who held the first architect's license in
the state, and had already designed the Central City Opera House and
Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as all the schools in
Denver, consulted with the Castle Rock School Board on the designs for
the new school building. They chose a design by an architect named
.....Within one week in August of 1897, the new
schoolhouse was completed, dedicated, and put to use. It had taken a
total of ten months to decide to build a new school, choose a site,
design the structure, and construct one of the most architecturally
significant buildings in Castle Rock, Cantril School. Elementary
through high school classes were again held there, until a separate
Douglas County High School was built in the 600 block of Wilcox Street
brick high school burned down in 1909, and a rhyolite one was
constructed to replace it. After the departure of the High School
students in 1907, Cantril School hosted primary grades and junior high
schoolers until 1961, when the Castle Rock Jr. High School was built.
The Dewey and Glade schools
consolidated with Castle Rock in 1914 and 1918 to form the combined
.....In 1967, there was again a shift in student
population, as the new Douglas County High School was completed on
Front Street. Students in grades four through six were sent the old
Douglas County High School on Wilcox Street, while Kindergarten through
third grade remained at Cantril. When Castle Rock Elementary was built
in 1983, the grades were put back together in one building, and Cantril
was converted into offices.
Cantril School building stands on the same block as the original wooden
structure, and is made of rhyolite, a stone quarried around the Castle
Rock area. The rough hewn stones create an aura of permanence as the
school sits atop the "schoolhouse hill" as it used to be called. The
barbed-wire fence is now chain link, which is designed more to keep
children from wandering out into the street than keep cattle from
wandering into the schoolhouse.
hipped roof is supported by decorative scroll brackets, and the bell
tower (with bell cast in 1881) is supported by a roman archway over the
door. A second roman arch was built during the 1922 addition. Other
additions, in 1957 and 1962 added space to the building, and an
addition in the 1930's caused a furor in the town because rhyolite
could not be obtained to build it, and it was made of another building
material. In 1984, the building was listed on the National Register of
Historic Places by the Douglas County Historical Society.
8th Grade Graduation
taken at Cantril School. no date.
Douglas County History Research Center #654.085.
Douglas County High School Basketball Team. For team roster, click the
image. Douglas County History Research Center #94027.
Anna Hilburger in front
Cantril School with her daughter or granddaughter. c. 1907.
Douglas County History Research Center #95048-001
Douglas County High
School 11/10/1914. No names are available. Do you know anyone in this
picture? Douglas County History Research Center #94043-001.
the Scrapbook of Lois Remley, Castle Rock" Published in the Castle Rock
Journal. c.1914. Douglas County History Research Center
Side View of Cantril
School. June 2000.
Douglas County History Research Center.
Back of the old Douglas
County High School Building on Wilcox Street in Castle Rock. Now used
as administrative offices.
Douglas County History Research Center.
Douglas County High
School Sophomores, 1922 #1993.004.0001
more articles on Castle Rock Schools in the Castle Rock Journal and the
Record Journal of Douglas County at: