The Old Lehi Schoolhouse in Mesa stands as a testament to the dedication of a few to create a better life for the future.  Originally created in 1880, the one room adobe schoolhouse was created to teach a new generation of the mormon pioneers that originally settled in an area of North Mesa, now known as the Lehi Neighborhood. Near the turn of the century, the original adobe schoolhouse was washed away by a flash flood, but it was quickly rebuilt with improvements like an additional room and stone brick veneered on the outside walls. This improved school still stands today, acting as a museum of the Mesa Historical Society.

The replica of the original adobe Lehi School house from 1880.

A replica of the original adobe structure was created in 2001 by Mesa high school students, who acknowledge that without the success of the adobe ancestor, the early developments of our states educational system may not have grown in the same way. 

The replica schoolhouse sits on the grounds of the Mesa Historical Museum in the Lehi Neighborhood of Mesa, Arizona.

Armed with only a singular chalk board and a wood fire stove to keep the room warm, Mrs. Francelle Robinson became the first teacher to teach her students. The one room schoolhouse held only 6 desks, allowing space for about 12 students, each with their own small chalk board that had the same purpose as what many of us use our laptops and tablets for. The room is lined with portraits of American presidents, from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln, as if to encourage the students of what could be achieved with what they learn from their studies.

The one room schoolhouse as seen from the only entrance.

Mrs. Robinson’s inaugural desk reflected some tools of the trade that may seem a bit antiquated today. They include an oil lamp for early morning classes, and a large wooden paddle that can be used for no other purpose than a much rawer form of student discipline. 

The teachers desk which faces the entirety of the classroom.

Most antiquated of all, an outhouse sits behind the schoolhouse, a cobweb in the open doorframe shows that luckily its purpose is no longer needed. 

An antiquated outhouse which hasn’t been functional for many years.

What the Old Lehi Schoolhouse best reflects, is the idea that educational prosperity has been a goal of those who came before for many years, and it’s something that we can better understand when we see physical examples of its longstanding history. 

The Old Lehi Schoolhouse is located at 2345 N. Horne, in Mesa, Arizona. It is part of the Mesa Historical Museum, which offers self guided and guided tours of its full facility. It is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Admission is $6 for adults, and children under 5 can enter for free. Discount admission is available for seniors, military personnel, and youth between 6 and 17 years old.