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Lincoln School takes roll call for alumni

POULSBO — June Breiland still vividly remembers the August about 28 years ago when the Lincoln School burned down.

Though its classrooms had been silent for many years prior, the Poulsbo resident said the building still reminded her of her younger days.

“I was sad to see it gone, even though I hadn’t been there in ages,” Breiland said. “There were a lot of memories there.”

And though the two-room school at the corner of Lincoln and Noll Road is long gone, fellow Lincoln alumna Jean Conyers is hoping many more people’s memories are still living on. She is in the process of organizing the first-ever reunion of former Lincoln School students, which will be held Aug. 28 at Raab Park. Anyone who attended or worked at the school any year is invited to the potluck picnic and Conyers said she hopes people will bring old photos and be prepared to share memories.

“I have no idea how many people will come but I’m hoping we’ll have a lot,” she commented.

Lincoln School was one of the component districts of Poulsbo’s first high school, Union High (today, North Kitsap High School), which was organized in 1920. The school housed first through eighth grades in two rooms with a removable wall for special events like the annual Christmas skits. There was also a basement, and the entire building was heated by a wood stove and serviced by outdoor toilets.

“In the winter, that wasn’t too pleasant,” Conyers recalled.

Some of Conyers’ favorite memories are playing Ante All Over, marbles and hopscotch in the school’s dirt play yard. She particularly remembers one day when a skunk wandered into the building.

“Everybody got into a fit over that and, as I recall, we all got sent home,” she said.

Breiland recalled that Poulsbo was a much different place when she attended Lincoln. For one, the school’s cross streets of Noll and Lincoln hadn’t even been named yet. The area was so rural that the children often played in the woods near the school or at Benson’s Pond during recess.

“In the winter when it snowed, the teachers would let us have a longer recess and we could slide down the road and not worry about the cars because there were so few,” she added.

In the spring of 1931, Lincoln School burned down. But through the cooperative efforts of the parents, it was rebuilt in time for school that fall.

The last time school was held at the location was in 1943. After that, the children who had attended school there were transferred to Poulsbo Elementary.

“We had to ride the cheese box to school,” Conyers said with a laugh. “It was such a rickety old school bus.”

The Poulsbo Grange met at the old building for some time after the school district no longer had use. And in August of 1976, the facility burned down for the final time.

But there’s a lot of history of the school, building and its students that is yet unknown. Conyers said she’s still in touch with many of her former classmates, but she hopes to see more at the August reunion to help fill in the blanks and preserve the history. Conyers said she honestly has no idea how many people might be attending but she does know that at least one former teacher will be flying in from Illinois to attend.

“That’s a long way to come,” she said

Breiland said that she, for one, will be there.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she commented of the idea for a reunion. “I’d thought about it a lot of times myself but never did anything about it. Oh sure, you bet I’ll be there. I’ll probably be one of the older ones there.”

Sidebar:

Lincoln School Reunion

All day, Aug. 28 Raab Park

For more information,

call (360) 692-6632

or (360) 638-2616

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