The Coal Creek Schoolhouse is one of those sites that tourists often make it to but as an Aurora local, you can easily forget to check it out! We think it is definitely worth a visit but the site is so much cooler when you know some of the history behind the schoolhouse.
When the old Coal Creek School was originally built in 1870, the City of Aurora was nothing but a dream of Donald Fletcher, who founded the town (which was at the time named after himself) some ten years later. Now, next to the large and ever-growing city, it is hard to imagine that this school was far in the prairie, built to teach the children of the few neighboring farmsteads how to read and write.
Already engulfed by the city area, it is fascinating to see a piece of all-American history tucked in in such a nice surroundings, preserving the memory of those who came before us.
The Delaney Community Farm is a historic gem, as it showcases the way people lived in these parts more than a hundred years ago, in a very authentic mix of natural and historic elements, and yet it is inside walking distance from a College Campus, a golf course, and a sizable mall. The site itself is built on what used to be a farmstead settled by John Delaney in 1876. This makes the whole place feel even more authentic, as Delaney’s kids probably went to the same school that now sits on the property.
Besides the old schoolhouse, and the plentiful plants and animals native to the region, Delaney farm also houses the oldest surviving residence house in all of Aurora, the Gully Homestead, and probably the last round barn in Colorado, making this an excellent spot for both tourists and school field trips. Although, as one ninth-grader confessed, going on a field trip to visit a school seems a bit illogical to him.
Coal Creek Schoolhouse
The original schoolhouse was built in 1870 as a prairie style, one-room school. Sadly, this building burned in a fire in 1927 and was rebuilt a year later nearby. As the town, and subsequently city, grew, the schoolhouse was moved to a second location, to Beck Recreation Center, in 1976. At this point the schoolhouse was no longer used as a community center, the purpose it has had until 1960, and was relegated to being a historic piece of architecture. The last move was not so long ago in 2011 when it made its way to the Delaney Farm, where it is designated to serve as a historic monument for future generations.
You’re able to visit the schoolhouse on your own and explore or you can check out the tours offered by the city. Either way, we think it is worth a visit! The schoolhouse is an awesome part of Arapahoe County history and is only about 15 minutes north of Parkside Animal Health Center.