Spring Valley School District No. 3

Designated: March 17, 2009
Location: Spring Valley
Current Owner: Private Property
Nominated By: Penny Burdick

Historic Significance

Early settlement in Spring Valley began in July 1860 and consisted of German, English, Welsh, and Irish settlers.  The settlement included a post office, store, school, blacksmith shop and livery stable, hotel, cheese factory and cemetery.  Harrison Bucks and John E. Geiger built the Spring Valley School.  John Geiger was a carpenter applying his trade through the construction of many of the wooden bridges with high sides seen in southern Douglas County.  He was elected Justice of the Peace for Spring Valley in 1892.  Other important residents in Spring Valley included: George Redman, one of the first settlers in Douglas County and a school superintendent and postmaster; Jacob Geiger, master of the Divide Grange No. 53 and manager and eventual owner of the Spring Valley Store; Joseph Gile, reportedly the first person to farm in the area and the owner of the Gile Ranch, which first served as the Spring Valley stage stop and mail drop, and included a hotel; and finally, Henry Gandy, who was instrumental in the organization of the Spring Valley Cemetery and helped set up the rural telephone lines serving the Valley.

The exact date that the schoolhouse was built is unknown, but it is believed to have been between 1870 and 1878.  The school is a standard design of a single-story vernacular, lap-sided, wood-framed building.  It has six double-hung windows, a shake-shingled roof, and a rock foundation.  A hand dug well is located east of the building.  There is also a coal house, outhouse, and barn on the property.

The Spring Valley School is located halfway between Franktown and Colorado Springs near the headwaters of the Cherry Creek watershed just north of the Palmer Divide.  The fertile soil is fed by numerous underground springs, which made it possible to raise diverse crops including potatoes, beans, sugar beets, and native grass hay.

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