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Monday, June 16, 2014

The Strawberry Schoolhouse

After visiting Montezuma's Castle, we still had a day ahead of us.  The fire up Oak Creek Canyon left me improvising, so we decided to go to Fossil Creek to see the falls and the blue water of the wild and scenic river.  Pictures I'd seen of Fossil Creek made it look like a pretty special place, so we drove through Camp Verde east to Strawberry.  We found Fossil Creek Road, then drove to the trailhead, now conveniently (or not) located a 4 mile hike from the river after some sections of the road were closed.  Scratch that idea!  Hiking 8 miles with 3 kids age 4 and younger is a little bit past my idea of sanity, but not much.  So we turned around go to Tonto Natural Bridge instead.  As we were driving, we took a quick stop at the Strawberry Schoolhouse.
The Strawberry Schoolhouse was built in 1884 and is the oldest standing schoolhouse in Arizona.  The building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places along with over 88,000 other sites.  (I wondered how many places were listed on the register, so a little googling I found the answer.  The designation means something to some people, but with the sheer number of listings being so large, to me it's a bit diluted and would be better managed at a state level, but I digress.)  They have tours they give on weekends in the summer, but we visited midweek, so could only view the exterior.  It's a cute little log building, with dovetail corners to help hold building together better. The schoolhouse was decommissioned several years ago and now kids from Strawberry now go Pine for school, and the schoolhouse sits as a museum and monument to the early settlers' determination to educate their children.

Nearest City: Strawberry, AZ
Location: Fossil Creek Road, Strawberry, AZ
Time Needed: 10 minutes
Difficulty: very easy
Kid Friendly: yes (it's a school!)
Additional Info: Local historical society website about the Strawberry Schoolhouse

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