An Open House at the Willow City School is set for Saturday, August 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The School Building/Community Center is located at 2501 Ranch Road 1323, Willow City, Texas.
Former school students will greet visitors who wish to view the inside of the building as well as wander around on the school grounds. Former students can reminisce about the “Good Old Country School Days” as they visit, for either a few minutes or all day as their time schedule permits.
Little is known about the first Willow City schoolhouse, which was located on the Paulus Flat area near the Willow Creek. When R. C. Roberts came to the Community in 1876 he described the building as a log cabin, no floor, and having split long benches. The building at that time was used for school and church services.
In 1881, that building was enlarged, and in 1890, after the original school building flooded away, a second building was constructed on higher ground.
In 1905, the present building was built on even higher ground where it stands today. This two-story rock building has two rooms and a hallway downstairs and an auditorium and stage upstairs. Ceiling fans have been installed and the downstairs has A/C window units for cooling. In the 1950’s, restrooms were added to the north side of the building. The building and school grounds have served the Community for educating the young people, for holding business meetings, social gatherings and community events such as calf roping and softball games.
The Willow City School consolidated with Fredericksburg Independent School District at the end of school term 1960-61. The Willow City Community Club was organized May 12, 1961. Then, on April 19, 1999, the Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools organized of which Willow City School is a member. The Friends group works toward preservation of the country school buildings that still are in existence for community use. The Willow City School building and property is now owned by Gillespie County.
In conjunction with the Open House, the Willow City Community Club will hold its Annual Family Night Picnic and a Reunion/Homecoming Celebration. Members invite all present and former residents and former school students to attend. This is the second year that all former Nebo School students are invited as they have discontinued their own reunion. The Nebo School consolidated with the Willow City School in the year 1950. All former country school teachers and/or their descendants are invited also.
Tables will be set up for playing games of “42” Dominoes between the hours of 2:00 and 4:30 p.m.
A pork barbecue meal will be served starting at 5:00 p.m. Members are asked to bring a covered side dish, salad, and/or dessert to accompany the meal along with a serving utensil. (Please have a name label on the utensils.) Eating utensils, plates, cups, bread, ice, tea, water, and coffee will be furnished. One may RSVP by calling 830-685-3385 or email RMRWilkeRanch@earthlink.net.
Guests and new club members ($5.00 annual dues) are invited. The Willow City Community Club usually meets on the first Friday evening of each month. The Building may be rented for social gatherings, such as receptions, reunions, meetings and classes. For rental inquiries, please contact Club Secretary/Treasurer Mable Wilke at 830-685-3385. Historical information about the former country school can be found at www.historicschools.org.