National Register of Historic Places in Churchill County

National Register #89000055: Harmon School in Fallon, Nevada 6 August 2008
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National Register #89000055
Harmon School
Kirn and Harmon Roads
Built 1915

The Harmon School is a ten acre, rural school located approximately six miles from the town of Fallon. The site incorporates a substantial, one-story, masonry school house, a modest, single story, frame teacherage and a single story, frame pumphouse. All three buildings are historically and functionally related and are considered contributing resources.

The Harmon School is significant for its association with the development of Nevada's public education system and as an intact example of an early twentieth century, rural school complex. Erected between 1915-16, the Harmon School served as the Elementary School for the Harmon District of Churchill County from its construction until county school consolidation in 1956. As common for the period, the school was a noted community and social center and cited as one of Nevada's "finest rural schools" in the Biennial Report of the Superintendent Public Instruction for 1915-16. The Harmon School is the only intact, early twentieth century, rural school complex to be documented in the state and is one of two rural schools to survive in Churchill County.

The school was built in response to the rapid population growth in Churchill County which accompanied the Newlands Reclamation Project (1903) and the construction of Lahontan Dam on the Carson River. As a result of this first, federal reclamation project, cultivation of the desert was possible. Homesteader and ranch families soon moved to the area straining the existing school facilities.

In May, 1914, the residents of Harmon District voted to construct a larger school. A ten-acre parcel was subsequently donated to the school district by the U.S. Reclamation Service. In July 1914, the building site was leveled by volunteer labor. In that same year a $5,000.00 bond was raised for school construction. In March, 1915, the Secretary of the Interior officially withdrew the ten acre school parcel from the government reclamation project and school construction was completed the following fall. Lon Kaiser was awarded the contract for the concrete work while Mark Wildes was the project carpenter.

Source: NRHP Nomination Form

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