|Hollywood Schoolhouse turns 100|
|Written by Deborah Stone|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:32|
The Hollywood Schoolhouse is officially a centenarian.
To mark this notable occasion, owners Jim and Rosemary McAuliffe are throwing a party and inviting the public to join them in celebrating 100 years.
“The Schoolhouse is both a state and King County historic landmark,” says Rosemary. “It’s a significant place in the community and many people have great memories of events they attended here in the past. There’s been a lot of weddings and special moments that have occurred here over the years.”
The building, which was constructed in 1912 by a lumber baron from Seattle, has been through many transformations. In the early days, it was a school for students who came from an area known as “Derby.” Story has it that the area was named after the holly that lined the drives to the Stimson Estate, which is now Chateau Ste. Michelle.
After a few years, the Derby School District consolidated with Bothell and the Hollywood Hill Community Club utilized the Schoolhouse as a clubhouse for dances, box-lunch socials and card parties.
“There are some in the community who remember sneaking in to roller skate on the hardwood floors,” adds McAuliffe.
In 1939, the Sammamish Valley Grange purchased the building for $1,000.
Before World War II, Japanese families rented it to conduct weekend classes for their kids, and local farmers stored their potatoes in the basement.
Eventually, the Grange sold it to an appliance dealer who used it as an auction house.
Jim and Rosemary took ownership in 1977.
“One evening, my husband and I were driving by the place and at the time, there was just an antique shop in it,” explains McAuliffe. “I made the comment that it would be a great space to do dinner shows or plays, though I knew it was pretty rundown. A week later, Jim bought the building and we’ve had it ever since, though it never became a theater.”
In the ensuing years, there were over a dozen shops housed in the building, but then in 1989, an arson fire occurred.
Afterwards, the couple decided to reopen the place as a banquet facility for weddings and other special events.
They later did an extensive renovation and addition, lovingly restoring the building to its turn-of-the-century style and charm.
“It’s become one of the premiere event facilities on the Eastside,” comments McAuliffe, “and we’ve received many accolades for retaining the original style and architecture. It’s got these elegant, sweeping hardwood floors and the original brick walls. Inside, there’s an extensive antique and memorabilia collection. And outside, the landscaping, which is Jim’s labor of love, is quite lovely with plenty of greenery and even a creek.”
McAuliffe notes that the top two floors of the building are available to rent, which include the ballroom and the atrium and museum. The lower floor is home to Alexandria Nicole Cellars.
“There are actually five wineries on site,” she adds, “so there’s plenty of opportunity for wine tasting.”
The Bothell woman is passionate about the Schoolhouse and explains that it has become a family affair now. She is delighted that there are several members of her family involved in the business.
“But, this is a place that really belongs to the community,” she emphasizes. “It’s got so much history and it’s right in the heart of the wine country. That’s why we want the community to help us celebrate turning 100.”
The event, which is free to the public, will consist of wine tasting, guided tours, entertainment and even a vintage car collection. The first 100 guests will receive a memento to commemorate the occasion. Additionally, a special gift will be given to the first 100 brides who bring a picture of their wedding at the Schoolhouse to post on the building’s memory board.