Colman Museum & Centerville Schoolhouse
History of the
Centerville School House
The first Centerville School was built in 1872 at Nimshew and Helltown Road. Ms. Kate Gillman was the first teacher with a salary of $30.00, plus room and board. In 1891 Ms. Ada Woods began teaching at the school, and became engaged to Charles Hintz. He built a new school at his property, just a short distance from the "Steelbridge". He sold the school to the district for $600.00. In 1895 Charles Hintz and Ada Woods were married.
About fifteen years later, in 1909, a survey discovered an error. The school house was mostly standing on land owned by Charles Colman. Mr. Colman donated the land to the school district.
The school house underwent a few changes during the years. In 1900 porches were added, 1909 brought a playground, in 1935 the woodshed was replaced with a basketball court, in 1950 a kitchen and a cloakroom were added, and after that a deck was built on the south porch.
In 1877 a school was built on Chico-Centerville Road, one-quarter mile below the Covered Bridge. It served the students of Diamondville. This school was rebuilt in 1888 on the eastside of Butte Creek facing Honey Run Road, a short distance above the Covered Bridge. In 1926 the Diamondville School was annexed to Centerville.
Classes were held at the Centerville School until 1966. Two years before, the school had been annexed to the Chico Unified School District.
The property was offered for sale in 1968. Local citizens formed the "Centerville Recreation and Historical Association" (CRHA) for the purpose of obtaining the historic building. Fundraisers were held to purchase the school and in less than a year the school was back in the possesion of the community.