Drennan Country Jaunt  LbNA # 51079

Placed DateOct 24 2009
CountyEl Paso
LocationEllicott, CO
Found By Happygirl
Last Found Aug 6 2016
Hike Distance?

This letterbox combines some history with a nice country drive (and it is a drive-by box). From I25, exit at 128. Turn north/east onto Santa Fe, right (east) onto Ohio at the Loaf 'N Jug. When Ohio deadends at a T, turn left and follow to Link. Drive north on Link for a short distance to Squirrel Creek. From Link Road and Squirrel Creek, head east on Squirrel Creek. At 8.9 miles you will pass the MM Equesterian Center. Keep driving east. At 11.5 miles, you will come to Peyton Highway. Turn north onto Peyton Highway and drive 3.8 miles to Drennan Road. Turn east onto Drennan.

Soon you will see a historic rural school house on the north side of Drennan. This school served the area from 1917-1955. The original owner was the Widefield School District #3. This rural school house property contains two outhouses, a coal shed, a well/cistern, merry-go-round, a teeter-toter, a gravel basketball court, and the foundations of a garage. The interior of the school still possesses historic fabric, wood trim, fir flooring, and slate chalkboards. The main floor contains 3 classrooms, 2 closet-like rooms (one of which was the library), and a stage which doubled as a classroom. The basement housed four teachers and a caretaker/cook that lived on the property. Additionally, the basement had a cafeteria, kitchen, toilet room, post office which served a 100-mile loop until 1951, and a central room that housed the El Paso Telephone Company's switchboard from 1918-1955.

The building was originally heated by coal or wood stoves. Water was brought in from the on-site well until sometime between 1950-1955 and there was no electricity until 1949.

The school educated up to 75 students in grades 1st thru 12th who arrived to school on one of three bus routes. Ice cream socials, dances, church services, weddings, funerals, farmer's markets, and club meetings were also held at the Drennan School. In 1955 the school consolidated with Ellicott and was closed but someone was quoted as saying, the school was "a comforting refuge from the sometime desolate prairie life for El Paso County homesteaders." For more detailed information, go to http://coloradohistory-oahp.org/programareas/register/1503/cty/pdfs/5EP4967.pdf at the Colorado Historical Society.

Now on to the box! Continue driving a short distance east to Bar 10 Road. Turn north and look for a yellow diamond that marks a sideways T at .9 miles. The box is hidden under a lone bush just a short distance east of the signpost. You do have permission to retrieve it.

If you want to travel out of the area in a different direction, drive north to Enoch. Turn west on Enoch and proceed for 3 miles to Peyton Highway. Turn north on Peyton Highway and drive 5 miles to Highway 94. Turn west and in about 13 miles you will be at Highway 24/Platte.