The Strawberry Schoolhouse was just that, a simple one-room school at the turn of the century, educating the handful of children who lived under the western edge of the Mogollon Rim. Pine was a newly formed village and a hub of activity for the tiny population.
As the years wore on, the town evolved slowly. As the community outgrew the one-room schoolhouse, the old Mormon Church in the center of town soon became the school and today it serves as the community center.
Just over a decade ago, a new school was built to serve the 230 children who are growing up under the rim. Some of those children are descendants of the pioneers who discovered this mountain oasis and some are a new generation learning to love the small town life.
Did you ever wonder what those pioneers have wished for the future of Pine-Strawberry? What would the school children who sat in that drafty log cabin have wanted for their future? What were their thoughts and dreams?
Fortunately, we can glimpse their past by taking a tour of the Pine museum.
In the relics left from Native Americans, settlers, ranchers and soldiers, we can examine our personal history. What items of importance would you want people 100 years from now to remember about today's Pine-Strawberry?
Here's a new twist on our family's new-year tradition.
Take a moment as the first year in the new millennium ticks to a close and try this exercise. Take out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. Write down the best things in your town as many as you can think of. Next write down goals and aspirations you have for this community. Now, stick this in an envelope and mail it to me, c/o Payson Roundup, P.O. Box 2520, Payson AZ 85547. I'll assimilate them into a future column.
One of the best things in our lives is our sense of community. It is also one of the most significant items we can leave for the next generation.