School/Poolman House

503 Park Avenue

A school with a bell tower was built at the corner of Third Street and Park Avenue on lots donated by Jacob Anthes in 1900.

Circa 1908. School built in 1900 at the corner of Third Street and Park Avenue (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).

As the number of children in Langley increased, a new schoolhouse for younger children was built adjacent to it in 1906/1907.

Circa 1908. Henrietta ("Etta") Kraber and her students in front of new schoolhouse (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).

Henrietta ("Etta") Ethel Kraber came to Whidbey Island from Seattle in 1907 after graduation from High School to teach in Clinton; riding her pony to school every day. She then taught in Langley from 1908 – 1912.

1915. Langley schools at Park Avenue and Third Street (Courtesy Bonnie Peters).

In 1915, these two schools were replaced by a new two-story combined elementary and high school building on Camano Avenue

Sometime prior to 1929, the school building in which Etta Kraber taught was moved across Park Avenue and served as a residence. It was reoriented so that the original West side faced South.

1952. Aerial view. Former schoolhouse (arrow) (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).

According to Janice Erikson, daughter of Joe and Viola Hedgcock owned the funeral home kitty corner across the street, "The Larsons owned it when we moved into the funeral home in 1945. Their daughter June & her son Terry Thompson lived with them."

According to Frances Johnson, "Bob and May Frear lived in the house before building a home at the corner of Park Avenue and Second Street in 1948."

1971. Aerial view (Courtesy Ben Breedlove).

Carl Poolman bought the house about 1972 and used it as a rental. According to Carl's son Dan, "The design inside was basically a four room schoolhouse on the main floor with an unfinished upstairs. The front door was located on the 3rd Street side in the center of the building. There was a backdoor on the back side of the house near a corner closed to Park Avenue (as seen in the photo of Etta Kraber and students above)."

"There was a staircase just to the right of where the door was located. Not a full upstairs.  Two rooms with flooring and unfinished pony walls about 5' in from the outside  wall line.  The house has 10' ceilings on the main floor.  The outside walls extend about 2' above the second level floor line upstairs (long direction of house) with balloon style framing.  It's considered a story and a half."

Carl Poolman sold the property to his son Dan in 1986 who "added the front section onto the house. I built a cupola on the addition just because I liked the look, not necessarily as a homage to the old school's bell tower."

2020. Poolman House (Courtesy Robert Waterman).