Larry Muder was one of the last students to attend class at Shumway School. Later, Muder told a newspaper reporter about “Giant Stride,” one of the games he and other kids would play at recess: A long pole in the ground had five or six chains attached to the top, and children would grab a chain and run around the pole until their feet left the ground. “Sometimes one person would take it out really far and catch the other kids,” he said. “It was a dangerous activity, but we were tougher than kids are now.” Toughness was a necessity in the tiny, remote community of Shumway, founded by Mormon settlers in the late 19th century. The one-room schoolhouse, made of locally fired red bricks, is tough, too: It’s been standing since the 1900s, though it hasn’t been used for school since the 1940s. In recent years, it’s undergone a massive renovation by the Taylor/Shumway Heritage Foundation, which stabilized its foundation and repaired its brick walls. Guided tours of the restored building are available by appointment. The tours do not include Giant Stride, but that’s probably for the best.
DIRECTIONS: From Show Low, go north on State Route 77 for 11 miles to Shumway Road. Turn right onto Shumway Road and continue a quarter-mile to the schoolhouse, located on the northwest corner of Shumway and Old Mill roads.
BUILDERS: Various Shumway residents
INFORMATION: Taylor/Shumway Heritage Foundation, 928-243-2608 or 928-536-7665
Photo: Students haven’t filled the desks at the meticulously restored Shumway School since the 1940s. | Mark Lipczynski