Ebbetts Pass Veteran's Memorial District

Calaveras County, California

The Ebbetts Pass Veteran's Memorial District was formed toward the end of the 1950s, and was provided with a small grant from funds, held by Calaveras County, that had been dedicated for service to veterans. Each year they are funded by a small portion of the property taxes collected by the county in their district boundaries.

In April of 1960 the Charles F. Schwoerer family donated a historical home on a large lot in Murphys to the EPVMD and they decided to build a community pool on the property. The pool was finished in 1963 with a dedication that Memorial Day. A memorial service was held in the cemetery in Murphys, followed by a parade through Murphys to the site of the new pool where the VFW presented the colors to the EPVMD and provided free sandwiches and coffee with cake and cold drinks provided by the mothers of the the Ebbetts Pass Little League.  The pool remained in use until the Fall of 2013, when declining attendance caused the EPVMD board to make the difficult decision to close the community pool and sell the property, and use the funds from the sale to renovate the historical Murphys School. 

Projects of the EPVMD

In 1973 the Vallecito School District replaced the elementary school in Murphys, which had been in use since at least 1860, with a new elementary school. Since the school district  no longer needed the old property, they deeded it to the EPVMD. The smaller rear room in the historic Murphys School House was leased to a pre-school group and the main section was rented to other community organizations and individuals for meetings and other events. The school building was in dire need of maintenance and also needed to offer more ADA accessibility if it was to continue to be used by the community, so the funds obtained by the sale of the pool property in 2014 were dedicated to renovation of the historic school house.The first work projects, scheduled for the summer of 2015, were to rebuild the bell tower, which was almost ready to fall apart, and replace the roof, with future plans including a renovation of restrooms and the addition of a small kitchen facility in the back part of the building, as well as replace the windows and do all needed repairs so the school house would be in good shape for many more years.

The property donated by the school district held not only the historic school house, but also an old building used by scouts and the local Lions Club, as well as tennis courts. The old "scout hut" building burnt down and a new building was erected on the site and is currently used as the Ebbetts Pass Veteran's District Hall as well as being leased to the Angels-Murphys Lions Club for a minimal sum, and the Lions also sub-leasing it to other community groups,

The tennis courts were used as community courts for the first years that the EPVMD owned them, but eventually a non-profit was formed to manage and maintain the courts, while still making them available for the community to use at no charge. The courts were resurfaced in 2012, landscaping was added as well as other amenities, all from donated funds. 

When Edna Feeney passed away in 1984, she left some land to the "City of Murphys" to be used as a youth park. The land was not in a suitable area for a park, so it was eventually traded for land on Highway 4, and, since there was not a "City of Murphys", the new property was donated to the EPVMD to turn into a park. The park was named Feeney Park and, with the help of many volunteers, it was transformed into a useful area for sports for the young people of the area. Eventually a non profit was formed and, since the non-profit needed to have control over the park if they were to obtain grant funding, the EPVMD sold them the land and improvements for $1. The park is used for many different sport programs and also has a skate board park and a disc golf area giving residents of all ages a place to play.