It Happened Here: Ahtanum Academy, one of the Valley’s first high schools, opens in 1892 – Yakima Herald-Republic

A 5-foot-tall marker stands behind a fence off Ahtanum Road, one that’s easy to miss if you don’t know to look for it.

But the 65-year-old monument made from native rocks marks the site of an early high school in the Yakima Valley.

Ahtanum Academy was established by members of the Ahtanum Congregational Church to provide a higher education for their children and others in the area, a mission it fulfilled for 13 years.

The school’s founding is closely tied to the founding of the Congregational church, known today as Ahtanum Pioneer Church.

Elisha and Lucy Tanner, who settled in the Ahtanum area in 1870 with their three daughters, were the founders of both the church and a Sunday School, which first operated out of their home and later a log schoolhouse before moving to a church building in 1884 that still