Historic Dungeness Schoolhouse
Location: 2781 Towne Road, Sequim, WA
Secondary Contact: 360-681-2257
AVAILABLE FOR EVENT RENTALS!Photo by George Leinonen
Classroom 1st Floor 30 people chairs & tables provided
Auditorium 2nd Floor with stage & piano for 90 people tables & chairs provided
DAILY RATES AS OF January 2018
WEEKLY & MONTHLY RATES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
The schoolhouse also retains its educational heritage as a venue for classes and programs throughout the year. Our first-floor classroom is available to rent for programs and classes, as well as weddings, family reunions, business seminars, birthdays and small gatherings & holds about 30 people. A wide hallway and staircase leads to the second story, which features our auditorium with stage & holds 90 people for larger gatherings. An elevator is available for access to the auditorium to assist handicap persons.
Download our Schoolhouse_Rental_Agreement.pdf
Five miles north of Sequim along the banks of the Dungeness River stands a picturesque two-story building with a distinctive red-roofed bell tower built more than a century ago (1892) This is the Historic Dungeness Schoolhouse.
Surrounded by farmland, the Dungeness Schoolhouse is not only a Historic site and architectural landmark, but also a useful community treasure complete with a working school bell. In size, design, and detail, the schoolhouse reflects the excellent craftsmanship of early builders who used locally-harvested and milled lumber. Its most distinctive feature is the decorative bellfry with bell-shaped roof centered over the original two-room schoolhouse and upstairs auditorium.
Except for a two-story wing added in 1921 to provide more space, in-door plumbing, electric lighting, and heat pumps for heating & cooling, the school retains its historic plan, architectural integrity, and many original features. One first-floor classroom was slightly modified for community use, but the other is preserved as an Historic Schoolroom exhibit that is open to the public by appointment. Many early class photos and educational artifacts are exhibited in this delightfully restored classroom.
The Dungeness Schoolhouse (prior to the 1921 addition) and old Dungeness River covered bridge (no longer in existence). Photo from the Museum & Arts Collection.
Opening in February 1893, county superintendent-teacher Mr. A. B. Dorsey reported the school enrolled 63 students in grades one through five, one student in an "advanced course," and employed one teacher at $75 per month. Of the more than 40 rural schools in the county, only Dungeness School was to later offer a full high school curriculum. Although high school classes were discontinued in 1923, junior high classes were held until 1940, and elementary school classes continued until 1955, when Dungeness School District No. 29 consolidated with Sequim School District No. 323.
For nearly 10 years following the school's closure, the building was leased by the Dungeness Community Club and on August 3, 1967, the club purchased the property for the purpose of promoting the civic and social welfare of the community. The Women of Dungeness group was organized to help the Dungeness Community Club restore and maintain the building, and thanks to their efforts, the schoolhouse was designated a Washington State Historical Site on July 30, 1971, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 1988.
The above information was compiled by John Majors, retired Dungeness Schoolhouse manager, from sources including the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form prepared February 1, 1988, by Leonard T. Garfield with research assistance from Mrs. Shirley Hill, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Olympia, Washington.
1892- Schoolhouse built for $1675 from local harvested lumber
1893- Schoolhouse opens for four-month term lead by one teacher for 70-75 students ages 5-20
1903- School expands for 9-month term
1921- Remodel adds indoor plumbing, electric lighting, central heat and new west wing
1923- High School classes discontinued after failure to attain necessary accreditation
1940- Seventh & Eighth grades discontinued
1955- School closed upon consolidation with Sequim School District
1955-1967- Dungeness Community club leases schoolhouse as building falls to disrepair
1967- Dungeness Community Club purchases building for community civic activities.
1969- Women of Dungeness holds 1st Annual Christmas Tea
1971-Dungeness Schoolhouse designated Washington State Historical Site
1988-Schoolhouse listed on National Register of Historic places
1995: The Dungeness Schoolhouse came under the ownership of the Sequim Museum & Arts
2003- Stair lift installed after many years of fund raising
2006: Building of a new access ramp, funded & completed by Sunshine Rotary Club of Sequim. The repair of the belfry following a report from Conservation Assessment Program grant in 2006. The report from Conservation Services in Whidbey Island found that the belfry needed repairs due to the age of the building. Over $12,000 was raised by the Museum at the Fund-a-Need Auction during the Annual Fundraiser. The work was done by Tollefson Builders, who had conducted repairs in belfries throughout the region.
2011: A project to repaint the exterior of the schoolhouse to its original color scheme was completed, as were repairs to the building's foundation and windows. Northwest Inside Out Painting Inc. of Port Angeles, Savage Glass Services of Sequim, and Rodda Paint in Sequim all contributed to the project, as did numerous donors, supporters and volunteers.
2012: Electrical upgrades throughout the building allow for wireless internet & kitchen appliances. The Museum received the 2012 State Historic Preservation Officer's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation for its 17-year stewardship of the Dungeness Schoolhouse.
July 2014: Awarded the Blue Star Award for Military Families. A new Schoolhouse sign was donated by The Sign Store in Sequim and installed by Museum volunteers John & Beverly Majors & Schoolhouse manager Bob Stipe.
August 2014: McCrorie Carpet One donated new flooring for the Ladies restroom restoration. With the help of Wheeler Construction and Museum Board volunteers, the flooring was replaced for upcoming weddings and other events.
October 2014: Installation of two Ductless Heat Pumps were installed by Air Flo Heating Co, and Kirsch Electric Inc of Sequim to replace the costly oil heating upstairs. A smaller unit is planned for the classrooms downstairs next year eliminating the Oil heat & going all electric. Wireless thermostats were installed to control heating from remote locations.
November 2014: The third heat pump was installed downstairs in one of the classrooms also by Air Flo Heating and Kirsch Electric Inc both of Sequim. We were finally able to turn the oil heater and baseboard heaters off. Renters are amazed how fast heat is supplied for comfort.
December 2014: We installed a restroom upstairs for the guests to alleviate the long trip to the downstairs restrooms. This was accomplished by ALL VOLUNTEER labor & Materials. Thank you so Much! Bill Littlejohn, Eaton's drywall, Dan Smith Construction, Wheeler Construction, McCrorie Carpet One flooring, Bob Stipe painting, Louie Rychlik Project Manager.
July 2015: Progress is being made toward the construction for an elevator to replace the Chair lift to the second floor Auditorium. Thank you, Bill Littlejohn, Dan Smith Construction, Olympic Electric & Eaton's drywall for providing material & labor. Funding has been provided by the Haller foundation, and donations from individuals & community support groups.
November 2015: Completion of the ADA elevator to the 2nd floor auditorium was completed & certified for public use. The chairlift was removed & new ADA handrails installed by Board member volunteers.
2016- Wireless security cameras were installed replacing the alarm system
2017- Parking cables & wood posts were replaced with decorative posts & ropes