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For nearly 100 years, the ladies of the Hilltop Social Club have gathered at the little schoolhouse located southeast of Parker at 5748 Flintwood Road, to socialize and plan activities within the community. What began as a social club in 1921 has evolved into a preservation society, and the group has lovingly maintained and restored the school that was once the hub of the vibrant country community.
Susy Cushman, 76, joined the social club in 1965, and said back then it was the only place ladies of the community could gather.
“We didn't really socialize much back then, we all worked on the farm,” said Cushman. “When we finally had a place to come get together, it was a nice break for all of us and we discussed a lot of community activity here.”
The school was finished in 1897, and replaced the original school, which was a log structure. The school received a historic designation in 2003, and is owned by the Douglas County School District, although the ladies of the social club maintain the building.
Eileen Enterline, 65, said they each help out where they can, much like women have always done in the community.
“We have done most of the improvements ourselves. One member, Elaine Cain, does maintenance, we've made curtains, we've painted the interior,” said Enterline. “It's really a labor of love for those of us who just love the history of the area.”
Indoor plumbing was added to the schoolhouse in the 1970s, and rather than tear down the existing outhouses on the back of the property, the social club decided to keep them and paint them to complement the schoolhouse.
Handling donations of historic items, especially books, is also a task the club has undertaken, as community members often approach them with old books they don't want to throw away. Books line shelves in the schoolhouse, as well as original student desks.
The social club meets the second Thursday of each month at noon, and dues, which originally cost 50 cents a year, are now $10 a year. The club hosts several events throughout the year, including the Hilltop Art Fair each May. Funds raised from the events are used to maintain the building.
The Hilltop Schoolhouse is also available for rent for special events, including weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries or family gatherings.
For more information or reservations contact Lorelei Linwood at 303-660-1616.
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