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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fishtail in Stillwater County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Dean School

 
 
Dean School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 22, 2021
1. Dean School Marker
Inscription.  Beginning with gold strikes in the 1860s and continuing through the homestead years into the 1920s, Montanans built more than 2,600 rural schoolhouses. Settlers squatting on Crow lands in the Fishtail Basin near present-day Dean began educating their children here in a one-room log cabin in 1894. The school served area children for twenty years, until fire gutted the building on a cold March day in 1914. Before fire engulfed the building, teacher Miss Schwenneker and the older children quickly removed all the furnishings, including part of the chalkboard. School resumed in a nearby granary. In 1915, Mary Doane and her great nephew Clarence Rich donated land for a new school and playground, and community members built a modern education building for Dean residents. The new school was nothing like the former dimly lit, rough-hewn log school. Polished maple floors, high ceilings clad with decorative (and fireproof) tin panels, a spacious cloakroom, tall windows flooding the room with natural light, and a small but comfortable, attached teacherage (apartment) transformed school, social, and civic life for the community. Children in grades one through
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eight learned together during the day, and on weekends and evenings community members gathered for parties, elections, lectures, and club and association meetings. Beloved teacher Delores Haas directed the school from 1954 until it closed in 1967. Since then the Dean Community Club has used the building for social events. A full rehabilitation in 2018 returned the Dean School to its original appearance.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 24.264′ N, 109° 41.4′ W. Marker is in Fishtail, Montana, in Stillwater County. Marker is on Nye Road (County Road NF-419) west of Fiddler Creek Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1368 Nye Road, Fishtail MT 59028, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charles and Gladys Pelton House (approx. 8 miles away); Cobblestone School (approx. 11.1 miles away).
 
Dean School and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 22, 2021
2. Dean School and Marker
Dean School image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 22, 2021
3. Dean School
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 116 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 19, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 17, 2024