Criterion School

A little bit of Wasco County history
that graces the state fairgrounds.

Children first attended classes at the one-room Criterion School in 1912. Part of District 58 in Wasco County, it sat in the Oregon high desert near Maupin.

Although it ceased to operate as a school in 1925, the building continued to serve the community as a Sunday school, dance hall, voting space, and a location for other public events. In 1953, the building closed and sat vacant for over 20 years.

In 1976, the Criterion Schoolhouse began a new life and a 200-mile journey to the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Chosen from more than 50 schools from around Oregon, it served as an exhibit celebrating the bicentennial of the United States. It housed a statewide spelling bee during the fair that year.

Today it’s a must-see for fans of Oregon history.

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