The Dungeness area, in the early days, was a thriving community. Early settlers saw the need for a school. At a May 10, 1892, meeting, votes were cast in favor of bonding the Dungeness District for $3000 to buy land, clear and fence it, and build and furnish a two-story school.
The Dungeness School opened on February 27, 1893, with 73 pupils
ranging in age from 5 to 20 years. The teacher received $75 a
month for a four month term, ending June 30. Living quarters were
provided on the second floor. Classes were large and books and
supplies not easy to get. School Board minutes of April 8, 1895,
show a motion was passed to buy the school a bottle of ink.
As years passed, a rivalry grew between Dungeness and the rapidly
growing town of Sequim. Pupils were leaving to attend Sequim High
School. To meet this competition, the building was remodeled in
1921. Modern heating, plumbing, and equipment were installed.
A new wing provided a large hall and wide stairs to the second
floor where there was room for a large auditorium and four classrooms.
The additions did not have the desired results, for Sequim High
School was accredited, and Dungeness was not. Accreditation was
not based on the quality of the education provided, but on the
fact that there were not 16 high school pupils in Dungeness. From
1923 on, there were no more high school classes.
From 1923 to 1940, two teachers taught eight classes, after which
7th and 8th graders were sent to Sequim. In 1955, the Dungeness
and Sequim School Districts were consolidated, and the old Dungeness
School was closed.
In 1967, seeing its potential as a community center, the Dungeness
Community Club purchased the land and the building from the Sequim
Following the refurbishing of the building with many hours of volunteer work, the school was maintained for many years through the efforts of the Community Club and Women of the Dungeness. In 1995, faced with rising maintenance costs, the schoolhouse was donated to the local museum and is now operated as a division of the Museum & Arts Center
The Dungeness School was designated a Washington State Historical
Site in 1973. On May 19, 1988, this beautiful old building was
listed on the National Register of Historical Places.