United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
Reports of superintendents of schools, pp. 647-708 PDF (30.2 MB)
660 REPORTS OF SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS. REPORT OF SCHOOL AT FORT LEWIS, COLO. FORT LEWIS INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, Fort Lewis, Colo., September 1, 1892. SIR: In compliance with instructions from your office, I have the honor to submit the following as the first annual repowt of the Fort Lewis Indian indus- trial school : School opened.--I arrived here on the 17th of March last, and opened school with 5 Navajo children, which I brought with me from the Navajo school. We found the place in a somewhat dilapidated condition, but soon began to get it in shape for the reception of more pupils. On April 23 Supervisor Keck arrived at the school with 16 children from the Southern Ute Reservation. Our number has since been increased by the addition of 4 Navajoes and 26 Mescalero Apaches, the latter being brought by Supervisor Keck from the Mescalero school. This gives us an enrollment of 51,and we hope to very largely increase this number at an early date. Site.-Fort Lewis is laid off on the military plan. A large rectangular plaza 2,000 by 500 feet, surrounded on all sides, and crossed in two places by double rows of cottonwood trees, with a drive or walk between and a stream of water flowing by each row, forms the center of the ground. Around this center are arranged the principal buildings. In front of them and surrounding the plaza is a plank walk almost a mile in length. On the west are ten double residences with from ten to fourteen rooms each, built for officers' quarters. On the oppo- site side are the company barracks, which with little repairs and changes afford rooms for dormitories, kitchen and dining room, schoolrooms, play rooms, drilling rooms, etc. At the middle of this row of buildings, a little back and at the end of a short shaded avenue, is a two-story buildina of eight rooms, sur- rounded entirely by a wide veranda. This was built for the offices of the mili- tary officials and will be fitted up by the school for reading rooms and apartments where quiet games, such 'as checkers, authors, etc., can be enjoyed. Marbles and more boisterous games can be indulged in near by in a room 80 feet long with a porch 80 by 10 feet in front. Another one of these barracks has been fitted up for a boys' dormitory. It contains twenty-seven small apartments and six larger ones, all on one floor. I doubt if there is a better dormitory in the serv- ice. At the upper end of the grounds are the superintendent's office, a large com- missary, and a stone guard house, a neat-looking building with a porch on two sides. At the lower end of the plaza are the two hospital buildings and two neat cottages. These buildings are very suitable for girls' department, and I hope to use them for this purpose when we have a sufficient number of girls to occupy them. One of the hospital buildings is frame, the other brick. The frame building is surrounded by a veranda above and below, the two aggregating 560 feet in length. The brick building is the best on the grounds. It has averanda 10 feet wide on three sides. There are also on the premises four large storehouses, each about 100 feet in length. The buildings are sufficient, with a comparatively small outlay, in the way of repairs and modifications, to easily accommodate 500 pupils. Character of country.-The surrounding country, which belongs to the Fort Lewis military reservation, affords splendid pasture, while the soil on the school farm is well adapted to the production of hay and oats. There are at the fort an abund- ance of barns and hay sheds to shelter a large number of cattle and store feed for them. Thus the school's facilities for stock-raising ale all thatcould be asked for. We will have 4 miles of pasture fence constructed within a short time, and if we do not get authority to buy quite a large herd of cattle next spring it will not be because we do not ask for it. Cattle-raising can certainly be carried on successfully and profitably here. With the rich, mellow soil and plentiful supply of water, the various kinds of vegetables needed by the school can be raised in abundance, and for storing them we have a stone storehouse with a basement story 30 by 100 feet, where a very large quantity can ?be put away safe from frost. Location.-The location of the school is high and dry, with pure water and cool summers. The average fall or declivity of the grounds is almost 2 feet to the hundred, giving us splendid drainage. The buildings are large and airy, so there is no need of crowding; they are so numerous that cases of contagious sickness can be easily isolated. A large 14-room house has been fitted up for a hospital, so that the sick can be well cared for. What more could we ask for in the way of good sanitary conditions ?
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