Ouray School
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Drawing of Ouray School
Picture by Jason Ficco

From the very beginning, Ouray needed schools for the miners’ children because there were so many families coming here. Elizabeth King was the first teacher in Ouray, in the summer of 1876. She had 43 children in a small log cabin with no furniture. She taught school in the summer for three months, and then she quit, because the job was too hard. Then in 1877, the second teachers were Oscar L. Mathews and his daughter, Lenora. They also taught for one year. In 1883, a huge new brick building was built where the playground is now. They had 206 kids in first grade through eighth grade. Most kids only went to school until 8th grade because they had to work after that. In 1893, more rooms were added. In 1904-1908 the high school was where our school is now. In 1913 an earthquake happened and cracked the school. In 1937 the current Ouray School was built because the other one cracked and they needed a new one. Also more miners’ children came.

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The sign over the entrance to Ouray School
Picture by Baily Kersen
Then in 1951, the kindergarten room, 1st grade and 2nd grade wing was added to the school. In 1965, the gym building was added because the old gym, the Multi-purpose room, was too small for basketball. In 1997, the 7th and 8th grade wing and library were added. For the past 130 years, teachers were here to help kids learn.

by Bailey Kersen and Jason Ficco

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