ELK GROVE — Members of the Elk Grove Historical Society are lamenting the fate of one of its key projects, the restoration of the Reese School House built in 1883. It was originally built on Bradshaw Road near Calvine Road but relocated to use for farm worker housing.
The Society moved it to its Heritage Park site at Elk Grove Regional Park in hopes of renovating it because of its ornate façade. But after over a decade of sitting out in the elements with a worn out roof it began to collapse. A recent estimate from contractors to shore up just the front and place it on a safe foundation would cost $300 thousand.
“$300 thousand is just out of our range,” said Dennis Buscher, Vice-President of the historical society.
Despite spending $60 thousand to move the building, it will be dismantled. Some hope to preserve some of the façade in the chance that replica would be built in the future.
The Reese School is one of around 40 one room school houses built in rural Sacramento County in what is now the Elk Grove Unified School District. Several of them have been restored including the Rhoades School that was relocated and restored inside the Elk Grove Regional Park. It is still used for historical educational activities by school children.
Buscher says despite the impending loss of the Reese School, the Society has just completed funding to restore the exterior of the Foulks House, believed to be the oldest residence in the county built in 1853. It also resides in Heritage Park a few yards from the Reese School.
The museum complex at Heritage Park is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month. In May it will be open an additional day on May 2nd for a “Day of Giving” event. Details can be found at the non-profit’s website.