Friday, March 6, 2009

Spy Rock School

Three pictures of the Spy Rock School, by Robin Shelly. I'm not sure where this school is located, nor am I sure if it has anything to do with the schools that we have been talking about. I want to make that clear after mistakenly thinking that Frank Layton ran the post office. I'm still not sure that he didn't, but I'm bad at research.

These photos remind me of the small school that we have up Salmon Creek, near Miranda, that Kym is familiar with.

Robin do you have any more information about this school, is it private, a charter school, or part of a school district?

The bottom photo is the old Branscomb Store in Branscomb California. Photo by Robin Shelly.

It is also the present day post office. The original store was built back in the eighteen hundreds. The original building had two square facades. They were removed and the front was remodeled to have the two triangle shaped gable end roof lines.


Anonymous said...

I drank a lot of beer on the porch of the Branscomb store/post office. Lots of good stories told there during the night and I think some of the worlds problems were solved also.


Anonymous said...

It's truly sad that the Harwood Mill is no longer

Ernie Branscomb said...

Janis and I stopped at the store on our way back from Fort Brag a couple of weeks ago and we introduced ourselves. The man that runs the store stepped in the back and brought out a photo album and scrap book. He showed us where Benjamin and Jane Branscomb are buried. He said that we should stop in again when he can take us up into the attic. He say's that there is all kinds of historic stuff up there.

I told him that we are going to clean the graves during this years family reunion. Maybe we can arange a group tour of the attic for the family. Old attics are so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ernie, let me know if you go to the attic at some time other than the family reunion as I would like to be there when you do. I have been at the Branscomb grave site a few times during the years I worked at Harwood's mill.

Maybe there would be a better place for the stuff in the attic than the Branscomb store, just a thought.


spyrock said...

if you see this school you are on spyrock road. this is the only sign on spyrock road as all the others have been removed. so just turn your car around and head back down the hill to 101. because it isn't really safe to continue unless you live up there. this school is where the government stages their raids on the local growers in the area. so this place is no secret to anyone. so go further at your own risk, you will run into locked gates eventually anyway. the road off to the right goes up to iron peak and a great view. that's the only road worth taking the risk. most of the people up there are nice, but business is business.

Robin Shelley said...

The school is public & part of the L'ville Unified. It's just above Indian Rock (the one I supplied pictures of) & below the look out. It has nothing to do with the school you & Spy are discussing other than it is the modern day school that is now on Spy Rock. It's basically a two-room/building school... one a classroom, the other a kitchen & art/music room... for K-6, I believe. The school has an annual fundraiser during which the doors are thrown open to the public & the (very intelligent) children who go there can explain to you all about their solar, wind, water, etc. projects which are quite intensive & very impressive. The food cooked & served there is also wonderful & the scenic views are amazing. I wish I had gone to a school like that!
As Spy says, it's probably not a good idea to go sight-seeing off the beaten path but, if you get lost, there is usually someone close by to help you get turned around & headed back down the hill WHERE YOU BELONG! (:

Anonymous said...

Ern & Oregon:
We need to go to the Branscomb Cemetery soon. I spoke with some of the Harwoods because the property which the cemetery lies went to the bank/new owners. I have concerns because the agreement between Arthur Big Bud Harwood then owner and John Branscomb, postmaster and his daughter,Jane; all now deceased, was that with the original sale of the property the mill was built, the cemetery would be kept up. This property was Benjamin Branscomb's as was the family home which turned into the hotel after Benjamin's 9 children were raised.

In recent conversations with Big Bud's grandchildren after the recent bankruptsy, no one was aware of this agreement. I have great concerns regarding the preservation of the cemetery since I'm certain the new owner is not aware of it's existance. We have some work to do.
Is the stuff in the attic of John Branscomb's house by the store or in the store attic?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I not sure which attic, or what the attic might contain. For all I know it could be the dudes chain saw collection. I have no way of knowing even if it has any significance to the Branscomb family. And, at this point I’m not sure we would have any rights to it even if it was “Branscomb Significant”. If it was significant to us, maybe we should offer to reacquire it in as fair a fashion as we can, after all someone else has cared for it all of these one-hundred plus years, they would certainly have some say in what happens to it.

I do feel that we should be concerned about the graves. That’s our heritage. Anything that we do should be done with the property owners knowledge, but a final resting place is just that, final. And that comes with certain rights and precedence.

Thanks for the heads up Cousin.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest Ernie that you contact Art Harwood regarding the 'attic'. He is a wonderful person and will give you all the information he has at hand.


bubba t. briarhopper said...

I used to live a few watersheds to the south of Spyrock Road on my friend's land. His classic Spyrock comment was "Man, it's been so quiet this year. No one has even got shot up on Spyrock." You'd never catch me up there unless invited. Otherwise, I love that area; the sunrises shining on Iron Peak were amazing

Anonymous said...

I agree with Oregon re: Art Harwood. In fact, the day I called his house he was on another phone. They truly are a great family. Art and Calvin's wives both told me that they were thought we'd have access to the cemetery whenever we wanted to go there. As for the attic!! who knows. It might be a snipe hunt of sorts if it's been visited too many times.

A photograph of a woman surrounded by chickens was given to me about 5 years ago. I imagine it was probably taken in the 20-30s as for her dress. A person by the name of Nielson found it tucked between a couple of boards in one of those attics. I think it was in the house by the store because she rented it for a while. It's a neat picture.
GGG B Branscomb's infant son was also buried in the cemetery. I'll try to email you a fairly recent photo of it, Ern.

Anonymous said...

my family own the original township of Spyrock and the school has had field trips to vistit the original school and township.

teri said...

How nice to find your blog. I lived in Branscomb for 1970 untill
about 1982. I have been wondering if any of my old friends are still there? Carol and her son Kenny, Gayle and her son Amos, Kiwi Jim.Even though I now reside in North Carolina I will always have a special place in my heart for the time and place that was Branscomb in the 1970's. I can be contacted at if any one wishes.

Johnathan Wilson said...

My family owns 1800 of acres right next to the spy rock school. The gate with the "Wilson's ranch white rock pasture 1876" or something like that. The teacher of the school is a real nice fellow to, Chris Brennan and my dad arranged a field trip with him to bring the kids to Billy Wilson's old homestead up the white rock canyon and a few other historical sites on our property.

Johnathan Wilson
6th generation in Mendocino.

Anonymous said...

Johnathan, are you Matt Wilson's son? My family was great friends with the Wilson's - Donald and Lee for years. Lee told me the story of how your family came here. My maiden name is Branscomb.


Johnathan Wilson said...

Yes I'm Matt's youngest son. My great uncle Lee had a lot of stories. Sadly I was a little kid and didn't listen when he told them.

Jamey Newland said...

Wow, this picture brings back some memories. I used to stop there every weekend on my way over from Laytonville to the coast to go diving. My dad worked in the mill there, and had a charge account at the store. I would load up on candy bars and mountain dew. Come payday I would always get in trouble for the high bill I had ran up. Great Memories!