Located on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Lochiel Schoolhouse was built at the turn of the previous century. It has been owned by the Patagonia school district since the Lochiel School closed in 1972. One of only a handful of remaining examples of rural, one-room schoolhouses with associated teacherage in the Santa Cruz basin, the property has fallen into disrepair. Vandalism and neglect have seriously compromised both buildings.
The Patagonia Museum, a local non-profit organization, has assumed the mantle of saving the schoolhouse. German Quiroga, president of the museum’s board of directors, hopes to see the site added to the National Register. He is working with family, friends, and neighbors to raise funds to rehabilitate the structure and see it used for education and outreach in Santa Cruz County. As the school board considers its options, it has expressed a strong desire to preserve the schoolhouse.
The Lochiel Schoolhouse and Teacherage comprises one of many heritage treasures that the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance is working to preserve through the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area designation. National Heritage Areas seek to preserve and celebrate America’s defining landscapes, as well as its cultural diversity and traditions. National Heritage Areas also endeavor to stimulate economic growth in regions with strong ties between communities and landscapes.