So Many Years, So Many Schools
—Salmon River Heritage Waking Tour —
First School (photo upper left)
The area's first school opened its door in 1894 on a flat near the river in north Riggins. The small log cabin, with few windows and a fireplace, served as the classroom for fourteen students in grades one through eight. It was used for only a few years and the school was relocated to a small building on the south end of town near Flume Gulch.
Third School (photo bottom left)
In 1904, school classes were moved back into town to the building pictured here. Located on the north corner of Ace's Place, the building is still being used today as a private residence.
Fourth and Fifth Schools
In 1905, Charlie Clay donated land south of Salmon Street and a small one-room schoolhouse was built of lumber. The small school also served as the community's meeting place. On weekends the desks were moved outside and it was used for community dances and sporting activities. Drinking and washing water, which was hauled from the irrigation ditch or river, was stored in buckets on school benches. In 1921 additional land was purchased at this site and a fancy new two-room school was built. It had a wide entrance, spacious cloakrooms, and the divided rooms could be opened for the continuing community events. Young Riggins students had no playground
equipment, but a large room-size boulder on the property provided a perfect, natural playground. The boys climbed the huge rock, leaping and jumping, playing hide and seek. A large bush growing from a crack in the top of the boulder provided shade while the young ladies lunched and made hollyhock dolls.
Sixth School — Old School (photo middle right)
When the Pollock and Riggins school districts consolidated to form Common School District #31, a new high school was built in 1940 to accommodate both communities. Riggins students helped in the actual construction of the building and also installed hardwood floors in nearby Clay's Hall for basketball games and high school boxing smokers to raise funds for their new school. The first high school graduation was held here in the spring of 1941 with seven students graduating!
"Old School" remained a high school until the present high school facility was built in 1958, and has been used for elementary, kindergarten and the After School Kids Program since.