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Antelope School, Antelope

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Antelope School, Antelope

Statistics

  • Built: 1924
  • Architect: unknown
  • Designation: Local Landmark, Eligible for National Register

News and Updates

December 2014

National Register of Historic Places nomination to be submitted soon

May 2014

University of Oregon graduate student authoring National Register of Historic Places nomination for Antelope School

June 12, 2013:

Oregonian Editorial Sketchbook: A School That Taught Oregon a Lesson

June 10, 2013:

Antelope School Listed as a Most Endangered Place

Significance

Antelope School is the most prominent building in the Central Oregon town of Antelope. Used as a school from 1924-1984, it’s most notoriously known for its association with the Rajneesh movement of the 1980s.

History

Built after a fire leveled the community’s earlier 1892 school, Antelope School served as a public school from 1924 until 1984. The building’s simple design and central role in the community is emblematic of many small Central Oregon schools. Antelope School gained national attention because of its association with the Rajneeshees.

In one of the state’s most controversial episodes, followers of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh flocked to Wasco County during the early 1980s, taking over Antelope and renaming it as the City of Rajneesh in 1984. For two years, the school building served as a home to followers of the Bhagwan. When the Rajneesh movement crumbled in 1986, Antelope regained its historic name and the school was converted into a public community center and city hall.

Why it’s Endangered

In rural small towns, having a space to come together as a community is essential. Antelope School provides the only gathering space within 35 miles, yet its condition has deteriorated in recent decades and is in need of general maintenance and rehabilitation. With a population of only 46, Antelope lacks the financial and technical resources to tackle the project.

Our Near-term Goals

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places, commissioning a Historic Structures Report, and developing a long-term plan for phased rehabilitation will provide the Antelope community with the tools needed to preserve this important school.

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