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UPDATE: Schoolhouse More Than A Century Old Is Educating New Generations

The San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse Committee and Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District re-opened an icon of local history Saturday west of Beaumont.

History buffs of all ages came to the old schoolhouse in San Timoteo Canyon west of Beaumont for a grand re-opening of the restored structure Saturday.

"It's great to see it like this," said Vernon Van Deventer, 91, who said his grandfather Byron Van Deventer built the original in 1882.

The San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse Committee, which helped research the building's history and coordinate the restoration, believes the first school on the site was an adobe built in 1856.

John Frink deeded land for the building to the San Timoteo School District in February 1882 - before Riverside County existed - with the proviso that within a year a schoolhouse be built on the site, or it would revert to him or his heirs, said Riverside County historian Steve Lech.

The building was built as a community effort - there are no records in either the San Timoteo School District records or San Bernardino County records of anything official about the building, Lech said.

In his research on the formation of Riverside County, Lech documented that the building was used as one of the polling places for the election to form Riverside County on May 2, 1893, Lech said.

Other claims that the schoolhouse was built in 1894 are therefore incorrect, Lech said.

According to Lech's research, the original name of the schoolhouse was the El Casco Schoolhouse. That is how it was known when it was built, Lech said.

The re-opening Saturday was staged in part by the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District.

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