For eighteen years after the Evaro School District was created in 1902, its students attended school in area homes and barns. In 1920, the district purchased this site for fifty dollars, where it constructed a one-story frame building. The first class in the new building included twenty-seven students, most between ages eight and thirteen. The school’s design was based on plans developed in 1919 by W. R. Plew for the State Department of Health and Public Instruction. As per Plew’s recommendation, the school avoided “cross-lighting,” considered harmful for pupils’ eyes, by placing a bank of windows on only one side of the building. Plew’s guidelines did not call for a belfry. Many twentieth-century school administrators considered belfries outdated relics, a sentiment with which the local board clearly disagreed. After 1926, the district added two shed additions, living quarters for the teacher (called a teacherage) and a storage room. Located near the border of the Flathead Reservation, Evaro School catered to both Indian and non-Indian students. Among the Salish children to attend the school was Louis Charlo, one of the four Marines who raised the first American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II. Evaro School closed in 1944, but the building continued to serve as a community center and polling place. Longtime residents particularly remember the dances, when they would spread cornmeal on the wood floors and dance in stocking feet. In 1987, a nonprofit group assumed ownership of the building, which fosters the Evaro community by remaining a place where residents gather.

Images

Map

6688 Grooms Road, Evaro, Montana ~ Private