Historian's notes (Allen): Wild Bill left the schoolhouse exhibit in Allen's care when he left the park to follow his television career. Here are a few interesting notes and quotes from the schoolhouse Maintenance Procedure Sheet that Bill left as guidelines for tending to the schoolhouse displays.

Desks: Desks are to be cleaned with dark stain cleaner (Old English, as I recall). When cleaning the desks, each item should be removed and then replaced in it's original position. Each desk represents a student's personality and should be arranged accordingly.

Lamps: The lamps in the schoolhouse are supposed to resemble oil lamps. Since the Fire Department will not allow the use of coal oil, cold coffee (with ammonia to kill the bacteria) is to be the liquid used to resemble actual coal oil. This fluid should be changed every six weeks. The lamps themselves are electric and have hidden wires that should remain out of sight. Extra bulbs may be purchased at Art's Fixture Shop on Second Street in San Jose. They are referred to as "flicker lamp bulbs."

Blackboard and Lettering: All lettering on the blackboard is done according to the script during the 1860-1890 time period. The lettering can be copied from the roll book on the teacher's desk. The phrases on the blackboard should be changed only when the board gets too dirty. The wording should remain the same. The picture of the cat was drawn by Wild Bill Kelsey's Grandmother. Do not remove this drawing.

Water: The water in the wash basin and in the drinking bucket must be changed at least once a week. The basin must be filled so that the water level can be seen by the Guests at the far side of the room. Bleach must be added to avoid the collection of algae.

Clocks: Clocks should be wound every five days. They should be wound only with the approval of Allen or Warren. Do not overwind.

Floors: Floors must be swept daily and mopped weekly.

Try to avoid putting valuable books on desks near the observation walkway, to reduce theft and vandalism. A Dunce-Cap should be on the old stool in the corner with the word "Dunce" written in old script. The shelves above the coat rack in the corner should be dusted weekly; the coats should be cleaned and aired out once every two months.

Below is the Desk Personality Reference Sheet. Desks are numbered for reference, with number one desk nearest the back of the schoolhouse on the park entrance side of the building. Desks one through three are nearest to the windows. 1. Big Chief writing tablet, large pencil. 2. Page with math figures, book open to math page. 3. Large book open with Frank Merrywether comic book on top. On chair, small blackboard with assignment, McGuffy Reader, page 10 and a picture (drawing) of the teacher. 4. (Nothing on this desk). 5. William Tell book. 6. Book open, ball and jacks. 7. Inkwell with ink-stained ribbon in the inkwell. Slate with numbers added wrong (i.e. 3 + 4 = 6), slate also has a heart with an arrow and initials on it. 8. Pencil, pencil box - implements, and book. 9. Music book on chair. 10. Slate with heart, arrow, and initials: numbers added wrong. 11. Slate with numbers and no answers; tobacco bag ('Bull Durham" bag) filled with marbles partly coming out on the chair. Beans and shooter. Optional: wooden slingshot. 12. Slate with "4 + 3" , and pencil

(Note from Allen): In a subsequent report, Ed Hutton indicated that the schoolhouse acted as the Park's main office, in the beginning. When Ed Hutton joined the company in February, 1962, the office functions had been moved from the schoolhouse to the permanent office space located above the buildings along California Street. California Street offices housed the offices of Joe Zukin, Sam Zierke, Ed Hutton and Jack Majors.

It should also be noted, sadly as it might be, that in the last years of the Village, the crowd mix had changed somewhat and vandalism was more commonplace. A few changes were made to the schoolhouse display to combat such occurrences. Most notably, the desks closest to the Guest walkway were kept pretty barren, to prevent theft and discourage vandalism. Additionally, only, easier to obtain replica desk items were purchased and less one of a kind or antique artifacts were kept on display the schoolhouse.

Outlaw Curt Daniels always liked the schoolhouse and remembered it as a calm respite while walking the park as the bad guy. Assistant Operations Manager, Pat Hanna, noted that he found great solace at the schoolhouse. In fact, it was one of his favorite stops on his supervisory routes early in the morning.

In speaking with Joe Zukin, on a recent phone call, Joe indicated that the schoolhouse was, indeed, used as the main office for a very short time. Almost the way you might have a construction trailer on site for a building construction, the schoolhouse performed as an office, more in that type of role (construction home base). Joe also indicated that the Village Staff had a stock selling office in San Jose, on the Alameda, so Joe did not think he needed a larger office on site. Once the buildings were complete on Main Street, the full enormity of the project became clear and Joe (and staff) realized a larger, more formal office was needed on site. Joe realized that the second stories of the Main Street buildings were unused or non existent, so the logical move was to build offices above the existing Main Street (and/or California Street) structures. The larger offices held space for San Zierke (the first promotions manager), Ed Hutton, and Jack Majors, the first park Accountant. We asked Joe how the Village came in possession of the bell from the first school to be erected in Almaden. Joe could not remember. Joe said the schoolhouse was never completed into the wax museum that Laurie Hollings envisioned, because the park was still in the construction phase and the park needed the funds for higher profit producing attractions. When Bill Kelsey proposed his idea, it seemed like an elegant solution to completing the attraction and still maintaining the budget line.

In our effort to show as many pictures of the Schoolhouse as we can, we have included this picture with a Playboy bunny inside the attraction. This was one of the many publicity shots taken during an Easter event, when Ed Hutton, in his infinite wisdom, elected to hire a Playboy bunny to make a personal appearance at the park. Joe Zukin hated the promotion (and loved it)!!!!! Please do not look at the Playboy bunny; only gaze at the artifacts inside the Schoolhouse. This is a family website!!!! Out of kindness, both Bill Kelsey and Ed Hutton (separately) have donated copies of this Playboy bunny photo. Hummmmmm......

-Written by Wild Bill Kelsey, with assist from Ed Hutton, Joseph Zukin, Jr. and Allen Weitzel