Juanita Students Rode to Classes by Horse and Buggy Before Turn of Century; School Was Constructed in 1883

By Jerry Rutherford

The history of education in the Juanita area goes back before the turn, of the century. In 1883 seventeen-year-old Vanne Hawley taught some of the present day Juanita citizens the three R’s. The first school building was up on the Langdon Road. In 1904 a two-room building was begun and was added to in 1912, again in 1924, and the gym was moved to its present location in 1934 with federal aid as this was during the depression. With additional federal assistance the lunchroom and manual shops were added. The shops were used by the seventh and eighth graders. Now the school only has pupils through the sixth grade.

Early school board directors were Mr. Carr, Ed Nelson, W. A. Chamness, and in 1934 Bill Bowie was elected to the school board and is still giving his time and energies on the board of the Lake Washington School District. Prior to 1944 our Juanita School was School District 21. In that year the change was made to join the Kirkland and Redmond schools in one district.

One of the first graduation exercises was held in 1920 in the Modern Woodman Hall which is now the Juanita Community Church. There were eleven in this class including Alice Ostberg, Helda Mickelson, Maggie Miller, Bernice Forbes, Breta Cass, Louis Nelson, Arthur Johnson, Edwin Jensen, William Musgrove, Elmer Mattila and Francis Murphy. All names which figure in the history of this area, many still in residence here.

Two women stand out in the memory of the students. One was Anna Ostberg who was school cook, janitor, nurse, and also drove the first school bus which was a horse and buggy.
Another good friend of the children was Marie Cramer who had a small candy store just south of the school and served lunches to the children before the school lunchroom was built. There is now in Juanita an Orthopedic Guild which bears her name.

After the horse and buggy driven by Mrs. Ostberg came two Model T Ford buses driven by Mr. Tapp and Ed Watson.

One of the early principals was Edward Robinson. In 1933 John Viele came to Juanita School as principal and full time teacher. Mr. Viele tells that in those early years there was no phone at the school and no secretary. Later Mrs. Ann Donnelly became secretary to both Rose Hill and Juanita. Mr. Viele retired in 1950 at which time Omar Peavy became principal.

In the fall of 1951 classes moved in to the new building which in the future will become a sixteen room school and eventually the old wooden frame building with so much history in it wall become a memory.