Snowmass history: Brush Creek School, now the Little Red School House |

Snowmass history: Brush Creek School, now the Little Red School House

Brush Creek School, known today at the Little Red School House, during winter 1967.
Aspen Historical Society |

Hildur Hoaglund Anderson described going to grade school on Brush Creek (known today as the Little Red School House) when she was a little girl in the 1920s in an interview manuscript called “Colorado in My Heart” by William Gilbert.

“When I started school at the red school house down the road from the ranch, my sister, Rose, was the teacher. Rose had graduated from high school in Aspen, had taken a two-week teachers course, and returned to the ranch. Her $75.00 a month was badly needed to keep the family going. There were 15 children from the Brush Creek ranches. Rose was a little more strict with me so she could not be accused of playing favorites. I loved her dearly. She was always so warm and friendly. All the children loved her. School started at 9 a.m. If it were real cold outdoors, we could come into the school to stay by the fire and warm up before school started. We would play games and even use the blackboards.

The first order of the day was usually reading by the teacher. Rose would read books like ‘Black Beauty’ or other horse stories or dog stories. At about 9:30, we would have arithmetic. Rose would go from one grade to the next, checking up on the work and explaining new problems. We learned early in the game to go ahead with our own work and not pay attention to what others were doing unless we wanted to listen to interesting things and learn work ahead of time. I learned a lot under this system, although some children found it hard to concentrate on their work. First recess was about 10:30. We played out of doors, weather permitting, before snow, we played ‘kick the can,’ ‘turkey,’ hide and seek, tag, ‘last couple out’ and lots of games we just invented. In winter, we used the hill for sliding, and the yard Fence for ‘fence walking.’ … Often times we fell off the fence, or were pushed off, but no one ever got hurt because of the depth of the snow. We were not allowed by the rules to throw snowballs, and we sure were in trouble if we washed someone’s face with snow. All in all, we learned a lot about cooperating and being nice to each other during those play times.”