Bonanza School: Now and Then

Taken from Klamath Country History, Klamath Basin Historical Society, 1984

By Donald V. Philpott
In 1907 the brick school on the hill above the present school was built by a local contractor, Robert Wattenburg, replacing a much smaller wooden building. This two-story, eight-room building had a central hallway on each floor and was built from bricks made in a plant south of town. A cafeteria in the basement was added in 1928, followed the next year by indoor restrooms.

The curve-topped little gym, built in 1926, stood just east of the brick school and was moved to its present location when the old school was abandoned in the early 1950’s. Before this gym was built, all school activities, including basketball games, plays and graduation, were held in the old town hall where Bold’s Store now stands.

Students from Lorella, Dairy and Hildebrand were sent to Bonanza after the new two-story high school was built in 1937. This building was destroyed by fire March 3, 1944. The twelve grades were again crammed into the old 1907 building to finish the year. Grades ten, eleven and twelve attended Henley the next year.

Designed with basically the same floor plan and rebuilt on the burned foundations, the new high school was finished by September 1945 and the gym in 1947. The grade school was added about 1948.

Additional classrooms were built in 1969 and 1976 when student enrollment outgrew the 1945 structure.

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