Red Lodge 2016

Carbon County Historical Society – Ray School

Originally built close to the town center, Ray School was in danger of being razed. Red Lodge had grown up around the school. Situated on private property facing an alley, the public has no access to this aspect of local history. Ray School is named after John Ray, who is said to have built the school after he moved to Red Lodge with his family in the late 1880s. While relocation should always be considered a last resort in the preservation of historic sites, in this case there is no other option. Carbon County Historical Society is making the best of this situation by turning it into a learning opportunity for other stewards of historic buildings in exchange for volunteer labor at the log cabin relocation workshop. In this way, not only will this historic school be saved, but volunteers will leave with the knowledge of how and when to appropriately replicate this process, potentially leading to the preservation of other historic buildings.

The school’s new home is at the Clarks Fork Valley Museum in Fromberg, and maintained by museum volunteers and interpreted through exhibits and programs.