History of Washougal School District

Washougal School District is over 150 years old

Education plays an important role in the history of our community. Washougal School District has the distinction of operating the first public school North of the Columbia River. In 1852 Washougal was the first school district to file with the Clark County Commissioners to be established as a public school district.
At this time, much schooling was done at home or classes were held in churches and public buildings.
The exact location of the first public school in Washougal is not known, but it was likely near the river, the site of many early land claims. A second school was built around 1847 on Joseph Gibbons' property, now the Orchard Hills Golf Course. The first class of WHS students graduated in 1914 with a total of four graduates. Over the years more rural schools became part of Washougal School District, including Mt. Norway, Bear Prairie, and finally in 1966 Cape Horn-Skye joined the district.

Photos courtesy of Two Rivers Historic Museum.

Historic Timeline:

1792    Lt. William Robert Broughton claims Washougal area for Britain
1806    Lewis and Clark camp near the mouth of the Washougal River.
1845    David Parker moves to the area and establishes Parkersville.
1847    Gibbons family takes up land claim on what is now the Orchard Hills Golf Course. A two-room school was built on this property.
1852    Clark County commissioners named six school districts in Southwest Washington.
1880    Town of Washougal established.
1887    First Skye School built.
1889    Washington State admitted to United States.
1891-92 Two story, four room school built on property donated by David Shepherd.
1910    Eight-room grammar school built on property donated by the Hathaways.
1910    Second Skye School built.
1911    Cape Horn School built.
1914    First graduating class from Washougal High School, four students graduate.
1925-26 Columbia School built, called Washougal High School at the time.
1925    Mt. Norway and Bear Prairie Schools become part of Washougal School District.
1927    Forest Hill School becomes part of Washougal School District.
1934    Hathaway built.
1944    Sunnyside and Fir Grove Schools become part of Washougal School District.
1952    Gause Elementary built.
1956    Current Washougal High School built.
1957    Current Cape Horn-Skye School built.
1966    Cape Horn-Skye becomes part of Washougal School District.
1981    Jemtegaard Middle School built.
2001    Canyon Creek Middle School built.

If you have historic information on photos about Washougal School District to share, contact Jodi Thomas, jodi.thomas@esd112.org