A bench has been installed at Orchard City Town Park memorializing Fairview School.
Installation of the bench along with its setting was accomplished just in time for display during the annual town picnic on Saturday.
The kindergarten through 8th grade school played its major role in the lives of its students from 1904 until school district unification in Delta County in 1966.
The school was located at the base of Tank Hill on the corner of 2100 Road and Fairview Road. A portion of the former school has been converted into use for a residence there now, the DCI was told.
There are a number of the school’s alumni who are still active as a group and who host an annual reunion. The bench memorial project grew out of the annual reunions, and the group donated money for the bench that is now placed near the planter at the entrance to the park.
The stone bench includes an etching of the Fairview School. The bench is placed in a setting that includes a partial fence using rails from the original school site. Included are two lilac bushes that one day will grow to replicate the two large lilac bushes at Fairview School that former students remember with great fondness.
Former students Marilyn (Williams) Boyd and Connie (Pritchard) Hutchinson from the Fairview class of 1953 said that the school was the center of community and social life for the students and their families in the surrounding area.
“A good education for their children” was the number one priority of families who sent their children to the school in preference to other schools in the area, Hutchinson told the DCI.
The school community was a closely knit one, and students greatly missed that society when high school time came and they were bussed to Delta for classes, she added.
Marilyn Boyd and her three sisters all went through Fairview School. They were known simply as “the Williams girls,” she said. They were all fortunate to have grown up in a place like Austin/Cory where life was uncomplicated, friendly, safe, and provided for all of one’s needs, they explained.
Fairview School was the institution they remember more than any other that helped provide that good life, and it accounts in large part for the great fondness that the school still holds today in the hearts of the school’s former students.