Welcome to Govan Schoolhouse. It was built in 1905, just a decade after the discovery of a sandbank and the establishment of the Central Washington Railroad made Govan into a place on the map, and in 1898 it became somewhat of a boom town when more families moved into the area. It became one of the largest distributors of grain throughout Washington State. The school was a two-room schoolhouse, with teachers serving students aged kindergarten through 4th grade in one room and then fifth grade through 12th grade was in the other. In 1927, a major fire rampaged through the town’s business area, and in 1933, the construction of U.S. Route 2 completely bypassed the town, which by then was already fading. Like many small towns, especially the small farming communities throughout the nation, Govan struggled through the Depression and more than half of the residents were gone by 1940. The only business remaining in the town was a small retail store, only there until the early 1940s before closing its doors. The school closed down in 1942 and is one of the only remaining buildings in the area to serve as a reminder of the grain town’s existence. The old school building is nearly a skeleton of it’s former self now, and those who have explored the school firsthand to see its condition with their own eyes estimate that just one or two more winters from now, it will completely collapse.
“When the school bell falls silent, when the halls are deserted, when the echo of laughter has gone; all that remains is a memory only your thoughts may linger upon.” -Unknown
(Photo courtesy ghosttownsofwa.com)