|City/Town: • Pawhuska|
|Location Class: • School|
|Year Built: • 1939|
|Year Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Abandoned • Private Property|
|Photojournalist: • David Linde • Johnny Fletcher|
Bird Creek is a two-room school built by the WPA, construction started in 1938 and was completed in 1939. It was a small country school for District 17 that got its name from the nearby Bird Creek that runs throughout Osage County. It was significant educationally and socially being as it introduced a modern facility with advanced instructional teachings and by providing job opportunities to some of the impoverished workmen in the area. The Pawhuska Journal-Capital reported that 15 students from Bird Creek School and their teacher Mrs. T. E. Allen and several parents went on a field trip to Independence, Kansas on May 31, 1961. It was at some point in the past nominated to be an Oklahoma Landmark but was passed up. Little is known about the school to date but according to some newspapers dating back to the mid 70s’ it is assumed that it was used as a community center building after its assumed closing around the mid/late 60’s. The Bird Creek Home Demonstration Club met there often with reports of them meeting at the old school spanning from 1957-1976. The Daily Oklahoman April 24, 1979 spoke of an outdoor living camp for students in the district that would be held at the Bird Creek School where students would live off the land and study wildlife, water conservation and pollution.
The current owners acquired it from a trade by giving up dirt for the nearby landfill, and in return they were given the school which their mother happened to be a former student of.
Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan.