For the third time in about 50 years, the old Harris schoolhouse near Summer Lake is receiving some much-needed repairs. While the most obvious sign of the work is a newly shingled roof, the building has also been recently repainted with some carpentry done on the inside and outside.
Jean Loosley and her husband, John, are the current owners of the property. Jean’s grandfather, C.C. Harris, originally built the schoolhouse on land he owned and deeded to the town of Summer Lake. One of a few schools around the area that were created throughout its history, the Harris school was first closed in 1919, re-opened in 1926, and closed permanently in 1929.
The property reverted back to C.C. Harris some time after its closing, and was passed down to his son Sid Harris, and then to Loosley. The building last received attention in 1989, when locals held several fundraisers to assist Loosley in restoring the building.
This time, however, she only wished to see some repairs done to keep the building from slowly falling apart. Its location gets a lot of sun and wind so the roof was badly in need of repair work. Gene Williams, a local in Summer Lake who has done odds and ends for Loosley in the past, ended up providing labor for the project.
He said he’s been ticking away at it with his sons in his spare time. Williams also commented that, among other things, bears damaged the back wall, and a matrimony vine plant had been slowly pushing up the front steps.