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Drawing of the Glen Grove School by Mary Cornish. Douglas County History Research Center.
.....Glen Grove is an area in central Douglas County along West Plum Creek. The Perry Park Subidivison is near the area once known as Glen Grove. Glen Grove was one of the earliest settled portions of the county, with many of its first families arriving to farm in the 1860's. The area is in a valley near the foothills of the Rampart Range, and is very fertile. A fort was constructed on Benjamin Quick's ranch that was known as Fort Washington. It provided protection for the homesteaders from raids by the Native Americans during the early settlement of the area.
.....The first school classes in the area were held in the upstairs of Benjamin Quick's home on West Plum Creek. Miss Mollie Boon was the first teacher, probably for the families of Benjamin Quick, Pete Brennan, and other settlers in the West Plum Creek Valley. One day the students came to school, but the teacher was nowhere to be found. Her fiance had finally persuaded her to marry him, and the two had left the area.
.....The leaders of the community around West Plum Creek decided in 1868 that it was time to build a schoolhouse. The students usually rode horses, most came from about six or seven miles away, so it was decided to only keep the school open when the weather was good. Thus the "summer school" term began in April and lasted until the first snow. Eventually, school terms ran until January, and much later they decided to follow the more usual school calendar of starting in the fall and ending in the spring. The first school building was mobile. Whenever the school population shifted, the school was loaded onto a wagon or onto runners and carted to wherever it was needed. This system worked for a while, and the school which had started at "George Robinson's place" moved to "the bank along the creek near John Cantril's house" in 1871, "below the John Kenner place" in 1876.
.....By 1882, the building was showing its mileage, and after a bull snake came in and crawled across one student's foot, legend has it that Benjamin Quick paid a man a pint of whisky to burn it down. A more permanent structure was built on to "the bank along the creek near John Cantril's house," much to the dismay of several other families. This frame building too burned down May 17, 1909 when a brush fire got out of control:
.....The school district, always short on funds, was $300 in debt, so the new building would have to wait. School was held in a cottage on the Quick property until the next year when a contract was let to Ben Saunders for the construction of the new school building. The community helped haul lumber, paint, build fences and a small barn.
.....One teacher, Mrs. Nell Billings Elting, recalled several stories about Benjamin Quick for the book Just Reminiscing by Charles A. Nixon. She stated that:
....."Mr. Quick did not approve of an organ. [for the school] When I asked him to donate for it - he snorted - 'Hell's Bells! No! We hired you to teach those kids the three R's, not to sing to them!' I replied, 'I am teaching them the three R's and I'm not going to sing to them but with them.' After attending an entertainment - 25 cents admission - he gave $10.00 toward the organ."
.....Like all Glen Grove District teachers, Miss Billings (Mrs. Elting) was paid between $25 and $50 per month and lived with families for two weeks at a time, she helped with farm chores, including hauling hay when necessary. Mrs. Elting helped Ben Quick bring his hay in before a storm and after that "he thought I was tops."
.....Throughout its history, Glen Grove School had between 15 and 40 students at a time, but by the 1940's, the population of the school had dwindled to four or five. The school was closed in the early 1950's, and the students were sent to either Castle Rock or Larkspur. The building is now a barn on private property and is included in the Bear Cañon Agricultural District as part of the National Register of Historic Places.
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