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November 17, 2022


The earliest of the schoolhouses erected in the Plains area seems to be one on Swamp Creek and another that was situated on Clark Creek up Baldy way. Both dated back to the early 1890s and logs furnished the principal building material. The former, approximately 14-foot x 16-foot, took its name from the creek that drains the adjacent timberland. That situated on Clark Creek took the name of Cook School. The Swamp Creek school soon became too cramped to accommodate the students and a new structure was built around 1898. Final disposition of the Cook School is not known but the families it served started sending their kids to the Lynch Creek School as time progressed.

Stuart Stobie was extremely helpful in furnishing data pertinent to the Cook School. According to his recollection the facility served as many as 14 students during its heyday, and the first pupils were instructed by Miss Clawson, a foster daughter of Mrs. J.A. McGowan. Stobie also recalled that the land on which the school was built was donated by Johnny Miller who logged the area and who later became a prominent farmer in the Plains valley.

Moving south several miles along the creek that drains the Baldy area it may be noted that several streams have converged into one known as Lynch Creek. It was south of this confluence that one of the earliest families in the area took up residence and built a cattle and horse ranch. This family, the Neptune Lynches, had a beneficial and profound effect on the locale in which they settled and later the Plains community. A direct descendant, Ruth Stearns, a second-generation student, provided a great deal of information for this story.

The Lynch Creek school house was quite likely erected about 1900 on an acre of land donated by Neptune Lynch. According to our source, a subsequent land survey indicated that the donated land was not the property of the donor. Another valuable source of information was Mrs. Ruth Benedict who was an early-day teacher at the school both before and after her marriage. She also acted as school clerk and trustee for a number of years.

Other teachers who summoned the sometime unwilling tugs on the bell rope were Lillian Beamish and Linnie Brauer. The former recalled that two generations of her family were one time or another enrolled in the school and that her father-in-law, W.K. Beamish and husband, Robert, had both served as trustees. Mrs. Lillian Beamish was my fifth-grade teacher at Thompson Falls.

Peak enrollment was somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 children. For a time, a horse propelled buggy or sleigh was driven by Ellis McNinch and collected pupils from the farms and homesteads who had previously attended the Cook School. Consolidation of districts later caused the termination of the Lynch Creek School when the students were transported to Plains for their education. This consolidation was accomplished by motorized bus, the first of which was driven by Carl Pilgeram. The building remained vacant for a number of years and finally was destroyed by fire in 1941.


NOVEMBER 11, 1942


Those helping David Haase celebrate his 8th birthday Sunday were Betty, Donald and Shirley Larson, JoAnne and Patsy Kendall, Dorothy Haase, Lorna and Gale Watson, Mrs. Anna Sand and Vera Sand. Ice cream and cake were served by Mrs. Haase. Happy Birthday Dave!



The City Council approved a resolution annexing real estate developer Dave Bennett’s 50-acre Ashley Creek Addition into the city and spent a couple of hours discussing anticipated problems with the new water meter system.

After being assured the city would not be obligated to provide water connections or construct streets in the new subdivision, the council unanimously approved Bennett’s request to be annexed to the city. The new water main from the new storage tank now being constructed as part of the city’s water expansion and improvement program, will traverse through the Ashley Creek Addition.

Bennett said he is going to provide a double oil seal coat to the streets in the addition at his expense before the city will be expected to maintain them. The city agrees to supply police and fire protection.

The annexation adds two homes – those owned by Bennett and Dan and Carla Parks – to the city tax rolls. In addition, Bennett currently is planning the construction of a six-unit apartment building. The acre on which his four-plex is located was annexed into the city in 1979.


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