Two historic schools are now listed in the Nevada State Register of Historic Places
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada is a historic and cultural wonder, abounding with stories, traditions, archaeology, cultural resources, and buildings that contribute to Nevada’s unique sense of place. Together, these revered treasures help bring Nevada’s multilayered heritage to life.
As part of an ongoing movement to preserve the Silver State’s past, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office listed both the Battle Mountain Grammar School in Lander County and the Oats Park Grammar School in Fallon in the Nevada State Register of Historic Places. The Nevada State Register is the State’s official list of places worthy of preservation.
Designed by renowned Nevada architect Frederic DeLongchamps in the early twentieth century, both historic schools reflect the tradition of education in rural Nevada. Characteristic of DeLongchamps’ designs for public buildings in the 1910s, both schools exhibit the Classical Revival style, using a combination of brick with concrete detailing and structural elements. As northern Nevada’s communities expanded in the early 1900s, more permanent school buildings often replaced the one- and two-room wood-frame buildings of the 1800s, and the Classical Revival style proved popular.
Battle Mountain Grammar School
The Battle Mountain Grammar School was constructed in 1915 using plans developed for the school district by DeLongchamps. The two-story brick building functioned as a grammar and high school from 1916 to1923, and solely as a grammar school for first through eighth graders into the 1960s. After changes in state policy in 1936, the school integrated and served Newe (Western Shoshone) children alongside white students in the community. In February 1962, a devastating flood damaged all the schools in Battle Mountain, causing the grammar school to close and remain vacant into the 1970s. The school was repurposed as the Lander County Courthouse in 1979, when the county seat was moved to Battle Mountain from Austin, over 100 miles south of town. Since moving county services to a new building in 2015, the Grammar School has remained vacant, but local advocates are interested in repurposing the building for a new use. This is the first property in Battle Mountain to be listed in the Nevada State Register.
Oats Park Grammar School
Built in 1914, the Oats Park Grammar School was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1990, and is now being listed in the Nevada State Register. The school was recognized for its significance in Fallon’s architectural history as an important example of Classical Revival architecture designed by DeLongchamps, but also for its importance as Fallon’s first large-scale school building after the town’s expansion in the 1910s. Fallon expanded in that decade because of the construction of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District. Oats Park continued to function as a school into the 1970s, but was mothballed by the school district by the following decade. It is now a cultural and performing arts center owned and operated by the Churchill Arts Foundation.
Both nominations are available from the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office on request, or online at http://shpo.nv.gov/historicplaces.
Property owners with questions about the program or how to nominate their property to the State Register are encouraged to contact the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. The State Register of Historic Places, with its companion program the National Register of Historic Places, is managed by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office and reviewed by Nevada’s Board of Museums and History.
The Nevada State Register of Historic Places was established in 1979 to recognize historic resources that exemplify the characteristics that Nevadan’s believe to be important. For a resource to be eligible, it should be 50 years of age and should not only ‘tell a story’ important to Nevada history, but should retain physical evidence of that story.