San Timoteo Schoolhouse

Project Name: San Timoteo Schoolhouse
Project Owner: Riverside County Regional Park & Open-Space District
Project Location: Riverside, CA
Year Completed: 2007

Awards/ Recognition

  • 2008 California Preservation Foundation Design Award
  • 2009 Old Riverside Foundation Award

Project Description

Over time the school house fell into disrepair. At one time the building was occupied by thousands of bats. They almost destroyed the wood structure. The restoration by MSC consisted of new plaster, woodwork, doors, and windows were added to bring the schoolhouse back to the way it looked when it opened more than 100 years ago. As a result of the bats MSC fabricated all doors, windows and finish trim in our own shop to match all the historic profiles.


The San Timoteo Schoolhouse is one of Riverside County Park District’s three nationally- registered historic sites. Situated in picturesque San Timoteo Canyon, between Redlands and Beaumont, the schoolhouse has witnessed much in its 125+ year history.

San Timoteo Canyon has been a route of travel for thousands of years. Local Indians used the canyon to travel between the San Bernardino Valley and the desert regions to the east for trade. This pattern continued with the influx of Europeans and Americans in the 1800s. Just after San Bernardino was founded by the Mormons in 1851, non-Mormons began to settle in San Timoteo Canyon by setting up ranches. One of the amenities that was needed was a school, and from the 1850s to the 1880s, schooling in the area was conducted in barns, adobes, and even just out in the open. In early 1882 John Frink donated an acre of land for the school house to be built.