Memories of a One-Room Schoolhouse

Memories of life in a one-room schoolhouse are preserved on video to provide a firsthand glimpse into the past. Ten longtime community members who attended one-room schoolhouses in Far East County shared stories of friendship, learning, and strict discipline of the teacher.
Co-produced by Doreen Forlow and Justin Burkeen for the East Contra Costa Historical Society, the half hour video features stories that capture a simpler, slower time when fourteen one-room schoolhouses dotted the area. Each school was an individual district with a Board of Trustees who were residents of the area served. Through the course of time, these individual districts combined to form the current Brentwood, Byron, Knightsen, and Oakley Union School Districts. The Liberty Union High School District formed in 1902 which allowed students to attend high school locally without having to travel to Martinez.

Persons interviewed:
Lone Tree School – Dewey DeMartini, Joe McFarlan, John Slatten, May (DeMartini) Shrader, Gene Stonebarger
Bradford Island School – Mary (Jardine) Armstrong, Linda (Rogers) Gregory
Liberty School (on Marsh Creek Road) – Verna (Cakebread) Kruse, Norma (Ghiozzi) Lewis, Barbara (Cakebread) Van Buren”

Hear stories of community members as they recall memories of attending one of the 14 one-room schoolhouses in our area.

A full 30-minute video is available for purchase in Gift Shop

Virtual Museum Tour

Docents who provide tours for our local third grade students share how our area was settled, how agriculture in our area transformed from dry farming of wheat to irrigated farming as we know today. Insights into pioneer life in the late 1800’s are shared.

Co-produced by Mary Black and Eric Morfeld of Limitless Productions for the East Contra Costa Historical Society, the 41-minute video features 7 distinct segments that provide history of the settling of our East Contra Costa area, agricultural changes, and glimpses into pioneer life of the late 1800’s. Designed to enhance the study of local history in third grade classrooms, it also provides much information for all who are interested in our local history.

Docent Hosts:
Pioneer Host: Tim Karlberg
Byer-Nail House Host: Ed Valenzuela
Homer’s Shed Host: Chuck Hunter
Kitchen Host: Gretchen Tovar
Children’s Room Host: Sharon Johnson

This video was made possible by a grant from St. John’s Lutheran Church Mission Endowment program