I was recently asked, “Are there any schoolhouses still standing in Custer County?” The answer is yes. The Wetmore school is the Library for that town. The Blake log school is still standing even though it has no doors or windows. It is a wooded area on CR 387 across from the Billington ranch. The Silver Cliff school is at the corner of First and Fleetwood Streets in the town of Silver Cliff. Willows school is on Willows Rd. (141) in rural Westcliffe. It has been preserved thanks to “The Friends of the Willows school.” The log cabin Canda school is on land owned by the Canda family, who have kept the original school building in good condition.
Traveling west on Hwy 96 from McKenzie junction, the schoolhouse, which is now a private residence is on the north side of the road. Junkins Park school, log building facing CR 358 near Junkins Park creek. It is on private land, windows and door boarded shut and in poor condition. The Westcliffe school, which the townspeople call The Rock school, is on Fourth Street next to Memorial Park. The organization Valley Park Recreation and Youth Center, Inc., has refurbished the building with grants from the State Historical Society and others. Today it is used by many groups and houses a schoolhouse museum.