Pioneer School House at Plumas County Fairgrounds (No. 625 California Historical Landmark)
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks. The Chamber of Commerce then created a committee of prestigious historians, including DeWitt Hutchings and Lawrence Hill, to evaluate potential landmark sites.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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On July 2, 1857 Plumas County opened its first school house here, in Quincy. During its lifetime, the Pioneer School House became a kindergarten and later a library. The school house held 19 children during its first lessons. The school house was relocated to the Plumas County Fairgrounds in 1974.
The fairgrounds host special events on several weekends throughout the year that bring this small community together and attract the attention of visitors. Look for the annual county picnic in the spring, featuring the Sierra Cascade Street Rodders Show and Shine, a quilt raffle, a Lion’s Club breakfast and a local dance performance. The annual High Sierra Music Festival started in 1990, is held in early July and draws as many as 10,000 music lovers. To cap off the summer, the Plumas-Sierra County Fair with all its rides, attractions, art, food and animal exhibits begins in early August every year.
Quincy was established by H.J. Bradley in 1854. He named the town after his hometown of Quincy, Illinois. The town started out as a gold rush town that surrounded his ranch. The Plumas County Museum in Quincy introduces more of the town’s history. Plumas Eureka State Park features historical information, exhibits and other California historical landmarks within the park.
The historical marker is located off of Lee Road and Bell Lane in downtown Quincy.
El Rio de las Plumas, “The river of feathers,” lends its name to Plumas County. Captain Luis Arguello named the river, having been impressed by the many floating feathers on the water. Plumas County also contains Beckwourth Pass, the lowest summit of the High Sierra, which quickly became a favorite route of wagon trains.
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