October 10, 2005
The nearly 50-year-old one-room school house on Potter Road in the Knudson Cove area was tentatively named to the national register late this summer but the official notification was just made the first week in October, according to Historic Ketchikan Executive Director Dave Kiffer.
File Photo by Dick Kauffman
"The BLM is extremely supportive our efforts to preserve and rehabilitate this property," Kiffer said. "BLM officials in Anchorage processed the national register nomination and also shepherded it through the National Park Service process."
Kiffer said the school becomes the 15th national register property in the Ketchikan.
"It was determined in the 1980s that Ketchikan had the highest number of historic properties per capita in the state," Kiffer said. "With the rapid echange in the community in the last 10 years it is crucial that we recognize the importance of Ketchikan's past in ensuring our future."
The school was built by Clover Pass community members in 1947, Kiffer said.
"In those days it was easier to build a school than to transport the children into Ketchikan and back every day, " he said. "The school is the physical embodiment of Ketchikan's can do attitude. The homesteaders in the area knew they had to go the extra mile to ensure their children's education."
Kiffer said that after the school building was vacated in the early 1960s, it was used as a polling station, a community center and a library. He said that it can continue to be used for a variety of uses.
"The Knudsen Cove area is popular with developers right now," Kiffer said. "Several nearby properties have changed hands in the last couple of years. That makes it even more crucial to save this property for the use of the community as a whole."
When the land lease or memorandum of understanding is signed, Historic Ketchikan will seek grant money to repair the foundation of the building and make improvements to inside. The organization hopes to rent out the facility in order to pay for its upkeep.
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