Watson School

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Not to be confused with Watson School of Biological Sciences.
Watson School
Watson School
Watson School is located in California
Watson School
Nearest city Bodega, California
Coordinates 38°21′21″N 122°56′18″W / 38.35583°N 122.93833°W / 38.35583; -122.93833Coordinates: 38°21′21″N 122°56′18″W / 38.35583°N 122.93833°W / 38.35583; -122.93833
Area less than one acre
Built 1856 (1856)[2]
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 78000800[1]
Added to NRHP August 18, 1978

Watson School is a Sonoma County Regional Parks Department historic park, covering approximately 0.75 acres (0.30 ha), located about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Bodega, California, on the south side of the road, at 15000 Bodega Highway in Sonoma County, California, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[2]


The land was donated by James Watson in 1855, for a school to serve the communities of Freestone, Bodega, and Valley Ford. Open from 1856 to 1967, it served as a public school for 111 years, longer than any other one room school in California. The schoolhouse remains today in its original condition on its original site.[2]

In 1976, Watson School was named Sonoma County Landmark #23, and in 1978, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is open from sunrise to sunset by a locked gate and features four picnic tables plus one toilet, along with signs commemorating the schoolhouse and the 1976 Running Fence art project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

In 2011, the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation received a donation from the estate of Daniel B. Furlong for the purpose of restoring the school. Furlong was part of the school's final graduating class, and many of his relatives also attended. With these funds, the Foundation hopes to see the school reopened to the public for non-profit use.[3]

Salmon Creek defines the southern boundary of the park.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Dino Bonds (December 28, 1977). National Historic Landmark Nomination: Watson School PDF. National Park Service.  and Accompanying photos in 1978 PDF
  3. ^ "News Release 5/20/2011 - Regional Parks - County of Sonoma". Retrieved 26 May 2011. 

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