National Register of Historic Places in Modoc County
Jess Valley is a remote valley roughly seven miles long and four miles wide. The wagon roads, which wandered around lava plateaus and hills, were very poor and in good weather it took at least half a day or more to get to the nearest town of Likely for supplies.
The South Fork of the Pit River runs out of Jess Valley through a canyon several hundred feet deep with huge rockslides from the top of the banks of South Fork. In 1919, a road was finally cut through all the rockslides and the trip from Jess Valley to Likely was cut to nine miles. The trip was now reduced to three or four hours.
At the turn of the century, there were between ten and 15 families living in the valley. All had large families of between six and twelve children. The Jess Valley Schoolhouse was constructed in 1900 to meet the educational needs of these children. The building was also used by local families as a social center for dances, potluck dinners, occasional church services, and public meetings.
Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.
Some Historic Schoolhouses in Northern California