Sumpter School Building. Built in 1897.

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Record 1669/2101
Collection McCord
Date of photo 1894-1894
Description St. Joseph's College, also known as the Brothers' School. The date on photo is 1894.

No image attached. This is an 8 x 10 print of photo 1981.1.4102.

The following information was taken from James Evans' book Gold Dust and Chalk Dust, pp. 19-20:
St. Joseph's College (1883-1885): There is still another school of note - the St. Joseph's College. At this distance, it is difficult to determine the inter-institution influence of having three
institutions (one private and two Parochial) in addition to the public schools operating in the community at one time. It may have been significant that Baker City Academy, Notre Dame Academy, and St. Joseph's College all suspended operation at about the same time.
At any rate St. Joseph's Victorian School for Boys was a part of the plan of Reverend Peter DeRoo for the area, and operated briefly. He had acquired land near Baker (160 acres) and in 1880, he caused a 3-story school to be built between what are now Campbell and A streets and Main.
He then set about attempting to get the school staffed, authorized, and opened. It wasn't until 1881 that Father DeRoo received official permission to staff the school and two years later before it opened with full staff. He had contacted the Society of Victorians of Joliette, Canada (a French Order), who agreed to take over. In the meantime, Father DeRoo used a lay staff for about two years, according to Bishop Leipzig.
By September of 1883, Father J. B. Monseau, CSV, arrived with the first religious instructors. Ultimately six Christian "Brothers" (the name by which the school became known locally) staffed the school. Books were shipped from Chicago and the school opened in October with a small attendance.
The Victorian Order remained only 2 years after that since the school enrollment was never large enough to meet expenses. They recorded a total attendance of 60, according to Historical Notes quoted by Brother Edward MacEachen, CSV. Brother MacEachen was assigned
to the school at the time of its closing. (See Brief History of the Diocese of Baker, for account.)
The Order withdrew from Baker in October, 1885. The building was used as a residence for a time and later was dismantled.

Object ID 1981.1.4104
Place Sumpter
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Credit Baker County Library, Baker City, Oregon

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Last modified on: December 09, 2017