Good-old golden rule days

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Good-old golden rule days

Old timers remember bygone era of rural schools
Lavenia McCoy, a teacher at the old Sunnyside School in 1940, stands outside the building, which has been converted into a private home on County Road 215 southeast of Durango. McCoy, who wasn’t much older than her students, has become friends with many of her former pupils, whom she still calls “youngsters,” even though most of them now are in their 80s.
At her La Plata County home Friday, Lula Mae “Sue” Hess talks about the old days as she looks through a photo album containing family pictures from growing up on the Florida Mesa.
Lula Mae “Sue” Hess, 82, talks about growing up on the Florida Mesa southeast of Durango at her La Plata County home Friday. People worked hard and worked together, making lifelong friends in the process.
The only sign that remains of the old Sunnyside School is its old school bell that sits atop what now is a private home at the bottom of the hill on La Plata County Road 215. Students loved to sled down the hill in the winter.
Lula Mae “Sue” Hess holds the hand of her teacher Alice Abby Eastwood on her first day of first grade at the old Sunnyside School in 1934.
Families on the Florida Mesa worked hard and only socialized for special occasions during the first half of the 20th century, but dancing was one of the main activities when they did get together as shown in this undated photo.
In a photo mounted in a scrapbook for a presentation about the old days on Florida Mesa, Lula Mae “Sue’ Hess holds the hand of her teacher Alice Abby Eastwood on her first day of first grade at the old Sunnyside School in 1934.
People didn’t get together often on the Florida Mesa in the old days because there was a lot of work to do, but this group of one man surrounded by a bevy of beauties did gather in this undated photo.
Arvil Brown, Lula Mae “Sue” Hess’ father, is seen with a horse and buggy on Florida Mesa in this undated photo. Most families in the area didn’t have cars until the 1930s, and even then continued to do most of their work with livestock.

Good-old golden rule days

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Lavenia McCoy, a teacher at the old Sunnyside School in 1940, stands outside the building, which has been converted into a private home on County Road 215 southeast of Durango. McCoy, who wasn’t much older than her students, has become friends with many of her former pupils, whom she still calls “youngsters,” even though most of them now are in their 80s.
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At her La Plata County home Friday, Lula Mae “Sue” Hess talks about the old days as she looks through a photo album containing family pictures from growing up on the Florida Mesa.
Lula Mae “Sue” Hess, 82, talks about growing up on the Florida Mesa southeast of Durango at her La Plata County home Friday. People worked hard and worked together, making lifelong friends in the process.
purchase
The only sign that remains of the old Sunnyside School is its old school bell that sits atop what now is a private home at the bottom of the hill on La Plata County Road 215. Students loved to sled down the hill in the winter.
Lula Mae “Sue” Hess holds the hand of her teacher Alice Abby Eastwood on her first day of first grade at the old Sunnyside School in 1934.
Families on the Florida Mesa worked hard and only socialized for special occasions during the first half of the 20th century, but dancing was one of the main activities when they did get together as shown in this undated photo.
In a photo mounted in a scrapbook for a presentation about the old days on Florida Mesa, Lula Mae “Sue’ Hess holds the hand of her teacher Alice Abby Eastwood on her first day of first grade at the old Sunnyside School in 1934.
People didn’t get together often on the Florida Mesa in the old days because there was a lot of work to do, but this group of one man surrounded by a bevy of beauties did gather in this undated photo.
Arvil Brown, Lula Mae “Sue” Hess’ father, is seen with a horse and buggy on Florida Mesa in this undated photo. Most families in the area didn’t have cars until the 1930s, and even then continued to do most of their work with livestock.
To help

Ruth Lambert, cultural program director for the San Juan Mountains Association, has a grant to research the one-room schoolhouses of La Plata County. If you attended one of those schools and have some good stories, or have the scrapbooks or memorabilia of someone who did, contact Lambert at 385-1267 or [email protected]

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