Fair View School
The Fair View School at 2367 Mill Creek Road in Russellville (Pope County) is a single-story, T-shaped building veneered in fieldstone and designed in the Craftsman style of architecture. It was constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal public relief program, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 4, 2000.
In the late 1920s, the Ball Hill and Rachel school districts in Pope County were consolidated as Ball Hill School District No. 10, and in September 1929, the new district purchased property in the Orchard community to hold a centrally located school. It would be another eight years, though, before funding for a new building would be available, thanks to the Works Progress Administration. On November 9, 1937, the WPA approved $4,700 for School District No. 10 to “construct [a] school building and conduct work incidental and appurtenant thereto, in the Ball Hill community, Pope County.”
Construction began in early 1938 under the direction of WPA engineer K. W. Brown and construction foreman Leon Reed, and the school was completed in June, with the first term of classes beginning in July. After the school was completed, the Orchard community’s name was changed to Fairview.
The resulting Fair View School is a T-shaped building with solid fieldstone walls on its north, east, and west sides, with a protruding porch on the northern elevation that features an arched entry and gable roof. A cornerstone on the north side says “ERECTED 1938 / SCHOOL BOARD / L. C. SMITH PRES. / C. T. SHINN SEC. / W. A. SMITH / COUNTY EXAMINER / TOM D. BULLOCK / STONE DONATED / W. P. FERGUSON.” The southern side of the school features four ribbons of three double-hung windows that provide light for the interior. The fieldstone walls and exposed rafter tails in the building’s eaves reflect the Craftsman style of architecture. A square, stone coal house and open-pavilion well shed are also located near the school.
Fair View School served the local community as both a school and a gathering place until 1960, when the district was consolidated with Russellville School District 14. The buildings and land were sold at auction in 1968, and the Fair View School became a private residence.
For additional information:
Baker, William D. Public Schools in the Ozarks, 1920–1940. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 1990. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/News-and-Events/publications (accessed September 3, 2020).
Hope, Holly. An Ambition to be Preferred: New Deal Recovery Efforts and Architecture in Arkansas, 1933–1943. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 2006. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/News-and-Events/publications (accessed September 3, 2020).
Vinson, Jim. “Fair View School.” National Register of Historic Places Registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PP0372.nr.pdf (accessed September 3, 2020).
WPA Central Office Files, 1935–1937, Arkansas (Johnson–Yell Cos.), Roll No. 3. Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System
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