Fast Facts and History History of Garfield School
(Listed on the Arkansas Registry of Historic Places)
Although the Garfield School is now a part of the Rogers School District, it operates in the town of Garfield, and has existed there continuously since 1885. The first schoolhouse was a wood frame building erected in 1888 at a cost of $800. The first story was used as a school and the second story was used as the Masonic Lodge Hall. That first schoolhouse stood beside a later one built of stone. At first, the stone portion of the school was just one room that adjoined the existing frame structure. The original stone building was erected in 1900. In 1918, a large expansion and remodeling job was begun in the stone building. By the 1922-23 school term, the expansion program was completed and all classes returned to the "new" stone schoolhouse. It then had two large rooms downstairs for the elementary grades, and one large one with a stage upstairs. The 1888 building had been razed. Work on the present day Garfield School main building, which is located near Hwy. 62 about 50 yards from the original school, was begun in the late 1930's, with funds allotted by the National Youth Administration. This "new" school was completed in 1941. It is now listed with the National Register of Historic Places by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. "Its castellated entrance porticos, arched entrances and heavy ashlarfaced masonry construction throughout distinguish this design as the finest extant representative of an aesthetic that was particularly popular for public school construction during the Great Depression." After the new building was completed, the old stone building was not used as a school for many years. It was used as a residence, a poultry house, and a worm-raising center. When some felt that the old building should be bulldozed, the community joined together to save it. The Garfield School Restoration project was begun in 1995. The community helped in raising the initial $40,000 toward this project. The building was purchased by a few members of the community and then dedicated to the Rogers School District. The initial mortgage was around $100,000. This has all been paid through community fundraising efforts. The final amount of around $11,000 was paid by L.J. and Mary Dart in memory of their son, Andy Dart.. The restoration project was completed by the 1998-99 school year. Most of the work was done by volunteers from the community.