The Reese School, built in 1884, originally sat on Bradshaw Road one half mile south of the Traction Line This school served the community until the early 1950s when the district joined Pleasant Grove. Rich in local history this school served many of the early Japanese families whose families farmed the area. Donated by Russell Newland, the permit process to get this historic building restored has begun. The building consists of two rooms, the original one room school and an additional room added as enrollment increased. The plans call for restoring the outside of the building and the original school room back to what the building looked like in 1884. We will use the larger original room to house artifacts from the early school and as a meeting place to serve our Society. In the smaller, newer room the plans call for a commerical kitchen to use for our events and fundraisers.
History of the Reese School
Nearly a year after the school was donated by Russell Newland for restoration the historic 1884 Reese School sat near Grant Line Road awaiting the last leg of its final trip. Months of work and coordination plus two false starts finally paid off when the aged beauty began her final move on 3 December 2006. The effort to move this building was a joint effort between Russell Newland, the Elk Grove Historical Society, Montgomery Contractors, the City of Elk Grove, Cosumnes CSD, SMUD, Frontier, Comcast and Tree Tech of Sacramento to name a few. Now waiting patiently at the Elk Grove Heritage Park, fundraising and the restoration process has begun.
After 7 months of actively working on the move of the Reese School and two false starts, the Reese School finally started down Grant Line Road at 6:30 am 3 December 2006. The move included over 50 people that worked the entire 9 hour trip that covered 4.6 miles. People involved in the physical move included the Historical Society, City of Elk Grove, Montgomery Contractors, SMUD, Westech Industries, Comcast, Union Pacific Railroad, Tree Tech of Sacramento and Russell Newland with a group of volunteers, that included Newland Trucking, to help pave the way.
The move involved many stops along the way. The loaded width was 39 feet and the loaded length was 85 feet. We stopped frequently to remove signs or trim trees. Along the way were many bystanders taking pictures. The Elk Grove Police escort included six officers during most of the move and sometimes more.
Getting the fragile 122 year old building down the road in one piece involved a lot of work and many stops. Here the Reese School rests on Grant Line Road while Tree Tech and Russell Newland's crew trim trees and clean up the road.
The Reese School passes newly trimmed trees along Grant Line Road. Because we could only trim what was necessary from the native oak trees, we had to trim as we went. Here you can see there usually wasn't an inch to spare between the trees.
The Reese School finally clears the Union Pacific railroad tracks to the cheers of Historical Society members that waited hours by the tracks to see the aged, stately school pass by.
Members of the Elk Grove Historical Society anxiously await the arrival of the historic Reese School at the Elk Grove Heritage Park.
The expert driving of Steve Montgomery of Montgomery Contractors pays off when the Reese School is safely delivered to the Elk Grove Heritage Park 9 hours after its last journey started. It will now sit quietly and safely among the oaks as the Historical Society starts the enormous task of raising the funds to restore it to its former glory.
With only a 55 foot opening, it took skilled driving to make the more than 90 degree turn into our museum grounds.
The end of one journey marks the beginning of another. From a one room school house that served the community, to a farm building used as a cookhouse and to store hops, a now fragile 122 year old Reese School awaits the last journey in its historic life - restoration.