A celebration of the 1872 Rhoads School’s 150th anniversary will be presented at this historic, one-room schoolhouse at Elk Grove Regional Park on Saturday, Sept. 3.
The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include reenactors and a history presentation by Rhoads School schoolmarm Roberta Tanner. That presentation will begin at 10 a.m.
Planning to attend the event are local dignitaries such as Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli. He will present a county resolution in honor of the schoolhouse’s 150th anniversary.
Jim Entrican, past president of the Elk Grove Historical Society, spoke about the history of the school.
“One hundred and fifty years ago – 1872 – they built the school out at Sloughhouse, and it was on Sloughhouse Road,” he said. “We moved it back in 1976 for the (nation’s) bicentennial to the Elk Grove Park. So, this year, we’re celebrating 150 years of the school, and this is one of the very first schoolhouses built in California.”
The schoolhouse in the park is not the first Rhoads School structure that was built, Entrican noted.
“The original Sloughhouse school was built in, I think, 1848, and it was in the slough, and there was malaria, and the children got sick,” he said. “So, they stopped the school and then rebuilt the school up on the hill of Sloughhouse.”
The school was named after a pioneer of the area, John Rhoads. This wood-frame building, which was constructed at a cost of $1,312.60, was last used as a school in 1946.
With this building sitting vacant and deteriorating in the mid-1970s, its then-owner Beth Engs offered it to the county to be preserved as a historic structure.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors supported the Elk Grove Bicentennial Committee’s desire to have the schoolhouse restored as a U.S. bicentennial project.
Entrican mentioned that Carl Amundson, who lived in Elk Grove from 1946 to 2006, sat on the roof the schoolhouse as it was transported to the park along Grant Line Road. He noted that he has seen photographs of Amundson lifting telephone lines over the roof with a pole during the building’s relocation to Elk Grove.
“It was trailered into the park and placed in the location that it is right now on a foundation similar to the foundation that it had on Sloughhouse Road,” Entrican said.
The restoration project, which was sponsored by the committee and Sacramento County Parks, was completed in time to be dedicated on Independence Day 1977.
During the dedication ceremony, Henry Lynch of Elk Grove Parlor No. 41 of the Native Sons of the Golden West, added the final touch of mortar to the school’s historical marker.
Among those in attendance at the event was Cecil Kleinsorge, granddaughter of John Rhoads.
The school has since been the site of many tours and educational experiences related to school life in the olden days. As part of those learning experiences, docents dressed as 19th schoolmarms and taught curriculum of those times.
Various Rhoads family members will attend the event. One of those family members is Entrican’s wife, Annaclare, a descendant of Thomas Rhoads, one of the sons of John Rhoads.
For those who cannot attend the event, the Rhoads School is open on the first Saturday of every month and during special events.
A companion event – a celebration of 50 years since the Sloughhouse Pioneer Cemetery was deeded to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers by Percy Westerberg – will be held at the cemetery on Meiss Road in Sloughhouse, on Saturday, Sept. 10.
The event, which is known as the Rhoads Family Cousin Luncheon, will begin at 10 a.m. at The Slough House Kitchen – formerly the Sloughhouse Inn – then move to the cemetery at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at The Slough House Kitchen, 12700 Meiss Road.
For additional information about these anniversary celebrations, contact Roberta Tanner at (916) 214-8345 or email@example.com.