Schoolhouse picnic spot offers history lessons

By Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

SENECA – It’s as if school’s in session at the Silvies School Historic & Picnic Area.

Visitors to this oasis may just need a quick stop to stretch their legs, but there are plenty of reasons to linger longer.

Located 10 miles south of Seneca in the Silvies Valley, this wayside features the historic one-room Silvies Schoolhouse.

The view inside the front windows of the schoolhouse includes several deskchairs in neat rows, a flag and a potbelly stove. Behind the building is a barn where students once left their horses during class after riding to school.

The front yard includes an up-to-date playground, a covered picnic area and two nice bathrooms with flushing toilets, sinks and baby changing tables.

Informational signs tell the story of the area, that the town, valley, ranch and river are named for Captain Antonine Sylvaille who came to the valley to trap beaver.

The site was where the Silvies Post Office once stood, opening in 1892 with Adelaide Cross serving as the first postmaster there. The Silvies School was built after the post office and was last used around 1940.

There were once three schools and over 70 ranches in the Silvies Valley.

The schoolhouse and rest area are privately owned by Scott, Sandy, Tygh and Rand Campbell and Robb and Lisa Foster and maintained by Silvies Valley Ranch staff.

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