National and State Register

Mesa Schoolhouse

Routt County

The 1916 Mesa Schoolhouse, located south of Steamboat Springs, is an excellent local example of the early 20th century rural schoolhouse building type.  Constructed as the Mesa District’s permanent school, the building reflects the development of the Yampa Valley and its commitment to education.  In the south Yampa Valley area, Germans, French-Swiss, and Irish immigrants attended classes with children from older generation immigrant families.

A picture of the brightly painted red school with gable roof and white trim. In the center near the entrance covered in the corner stands a red bell tower. The school is surrounded by snow and you can see some mountains in the background.

Mesa Schoolhouse (2004 photograph.)

Like most rural schools, the Mesa Schoolhouse played a major role in the assimilation process.  Although intended to provide a place for education for the children of the Mesa District, it also became the social center of the small agricultural community.  School district consolidation closed the Mesa Schoolhouse in 1959.  For the next 30 years the building served as a residential rental and the following decade as a “party place”. 

The City of Steamboat Springs and local non-profit Historic Routt County! acquired the building and the small parcel of land with the assistance of the State Historical Fund in 1998.  The property is associated with the Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.