Location: New River Elementary School 48827 N. Black Canyon Freeway New River, Maricopa County, Arizona 33.925964, -112.140409
Note: Monument is visible from the school parking lot, with access through school office with a visitor’s pass.
Historical Significance: The New River Community began as a ranching community during territorial days. Amos LaFayette and Della Essary came to the area in the late 1800s. When Homestead Land became available in 1932 their son, Bill Essary, obtained land that his parents had originally settled. The New River School opened in their living room in 1934 with 13 students. The county promised and provided a teacher, moved a building to the property for the students, and provided a Teacherage building to house the teacher; this Teacherage is the building now present at the monument. The first teacher was Miss Horner. The Essary family is named on the monument to represent all the early families.
The school has been the center of this community. In addition to classes for the children from first through eighth grades, the school has also hosted many community social events and even Sunday worship services. This monument, fittingly, is located on the grounds of the New River School, next to the historic Teacherage Building, the only remaining building of the original New River School. Children from the school picked rocks from the school grounds to fill the monument. Also on site is a time capsule, placed by the students in 2000, to be opened 2050.
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