Who's pictured?

Local historian hopes to identify schoolgirls from the late 1930s


Recognize anyone in this photo?

Taken in 1938 or 1939, the photo is of students in front of the gym at the old Washington School in Dolores. The school used to be on Sixth Street where the Dolores State Bank is now, explained historian and author Molly Warren.

"It burned down in 1954-55 and is one of two photos that show the old gym," she said.

The gym had the rounded roof architecture, and was the center of many community events.

"I remember Christmas concerts and Halloween parties there at the old gym," she said. "During the 1940s it was used as a hospital for an influenza outbreak. Many people were sick and folks from Rico came down on the train to get treatment."

Behind the gym to the north was a popular movie theater, Warren recalls.

"I remember seeing a 3-D movie there. It was quite a big deal for us kids," she said.

The theater, school and rounded-roof gym all burned down in a massive fire, and a new high school had to be built.

"I was too young to go to school at Washington, but my parents let me go with my older sisters towards the end of the day," she said.

Warren has just completed an update of her classic book, Montezuma's Trails of Time, a comprehensive history of the people and places of the county.

New editions will soon be available, but this photo is the last loose end.

"I thought if I put it in the paper maybe somebody would recognize some of the people," she said.

Call Warren at 560-1401 or Vic Sundquist at 882-7251 if have an answer. You may also email jmimiaga@cortezjournal.com.