BY SABRINA LEE
As communities grow and expand the one-room schoolhouse eventually cannot serve its purpose. North Ogden was no different.
Sagebrush Academy was built in the southeast corner of North Ogden, known as the Randall District. Commuting to and from school consisted of horse-drawn wagon-like carriages known as hacks. Often, this became difficult during certain times of the year due to muddy dirt roads, and the location was chosen for its high ground.
Built in 1882, the one-room schoolhouse was a log building. This proved to be inadequate, so a one-room brick schoolhouse was built in 1885. The school housed eight grades and had one teacher for each. The first teacher was Edward Joseph Davis, who was reluctant to take the position but eventually conceded with a salary of $25 a month.
In interviews conducted by Dr. M. Nephi Manning, the students who attended Sagebrush Academy recall details of the interior. The school had log benches that could fit two people, while a stove resided in the center of the room, providing heat in the winter. Students gathered the wild sagebrush from outside to burn in the stove. Its location provided an opportunity for students to learn the “three R’s” as well as be exposed to nature—the interviewees recalled being able to mountain climb at recess. The occasional snake made its way into the schoolhouse, and they had to be cautious when out for recess due to the high rattlesnake population. Other dangers for the students included mountain lions and coyotes.
As the community’s needs changed, the one-room brick schoolhouse was no longer needed. It was remodeled into a house at 1540 Mountain Road. The location today is Frank’s Auto.
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