April 01, 2011

More Background on Yakima Valley Academy

The photo ("From the GLEANER Archives," February 2011) was taken diagonally across Sunnyside Ave. from the "Assembly Hall" known today as the Granger Church.

It became Upper Columbia Conference property circa 1915. My father, Elmer Wiggins, came to Granger via covered wagon circa 1914 and attended YVA with his seven brothers and sisters, where he met my mother, Ruth Beck from Kelso, Washington. You can see Wiggins and Beck pictures in the first annual of YVA.

The unique arts and crafts classes at the Granger school attracted reporters and photographers. Students learned the silk-screening process and printed their own PE uniforms etc. They learned bookbinding and produced countless volumes of the Junior Guide and any other magazine of interest they could find.

The Granger school must have been the only grade school known to man with a marble-floored ballroom under the East wing, the one shown in the photo.

Thanks to Bernice Searl, Walla Walla College elementary education instructor turned UCC elementary supervisor, the college sent regular van loads of student teachers to spend a day observing the program at Granger.

Al Wiggins, Omak, Washington