Learn About the Oldest Schoolhouse Left Standing in Colorado
Several historic schoolhouses are still standing across Colorado. Some of these antique educational structures date back more than a hundred years but still give a good glimpse into what schools of simpler times looked like.
Other former schoolhouses throughout the state have been converted into luxurious homes, upscale hotels, and one-of-a-kind rentals. For instance, Slate Denver was built inside the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School on 13th and Welton Street, marking a new chapter for the historic structure. Or this place — formerly a one-room schoolhouse in the 1800s, now a spacious $1.625 million dollar homestead.
Although some of Colorado's oldest schoolhouses have been transformed for modern use, others throughout the Centennial State have been left as is over the years.
The Aroya School is an excellent example of one of the earliest educational institutions in the state. It may also be the only remaining double-arched/double-entry wooden schoolhouse left in Colorado. The weathered school's roof is rotted and portions are caving in, but the bell tower continues to poke out proudly from the center. Aroya school was once a part of Cheyenne County District No. 9. It can be found near Highway 287 and Highway 24.
While the Aroya School is full of history, there's another schoolhouse known as the oldest left standing in the state. The Doyle Schoolhouse in Avondale, Colorado has earned that designation.
The state's oldest schoolhouse sits out in the country, along the quiet Doyle Road, where the street crosses the Huerfano River in Pueblo County.
The historic school was named after Joseph Bainbridge Doyle. Between 1842 to 1859, Doyle was responsible for not only settling the area and constructing Fort Pueblo but also for bringing the first schoolteacher to Colorado. According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, Doyle hired O.G. Goldrick, to tutor his two children, which led to the evolution of an actual schoolhouse later on down the road.
The school was built in 1859 using adobe, wood siding, and wooden shingles.
Nowadays, an interpretive sign stands to the left of the boarded-up, tiny one-room school providing a brief history of the Doyle Settlement. The sign also denotes the local landmark as one of Colorado's Most Endangered Places.
The 19th-century schoolhouse is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. While the Doyle Settlement is the site of one of the earliest, non-mining communities established in Colorado, the schoolhouse is the only building from the community left intact.
Find the vintage schoolhouse at 6175 Doyle Road. It's owned and maintained by Pueblo County. If you do visit the southern Colorado location, be sure to respect the protective fencing that helps to preserve this historic property.
Interested in seeing more of Colorado's old schoolhouses? Travelers can book a stay at some pretty cool old schools throughout the state. Check them out below.