Although the little country school on Avenue 7 stands empty today, there is some talk that children will once again fill its rooms and playground. With Madera Unified School District in need of facilities for its class size reduction plans, some are looking at Ripperdan School for rooms.
There is an outside chance that the little school may stand tall and proud once again, like it did back in the days when Madera County was dotted with small, fiercely independent communities.
The roots of Ripperdan School run back to the 1880s when George E. Ripperdan came to the area and began to buy and lease land to farm wheat and barley. Within two years he had control of 6,000 acres and prepared to take a bride.
In 1887 Ripperdan and Miss Effie Drake of Modesto were united in holy matrimony and established a home opposite of what became the H. Mochizuki store...