The schoolhouse, built in 1915, is located in historic Frenchtown, a small community just west of Walla Walla, Washington. Frenchtown derived its name from the many French-Canadians who settled the valley during the early 1800s. Legend has it, these men of French descent raised grapes and produced wine. By the 1860s nurseries, vineyards and winemaking had become a part of the valley’s growing economy. The name – L’Ecole N° 41, French for “the school” located in school district 41 – was chosen to salute these pioneer viticulture efforts.
The schoolhouse served children until 1974. The building was purchased by Baker and Jean Ferguson in 1977. They received Walla Walla County approval later that year to renovate it for use as a winery. L’Ecole N° 41 officially opened its doors in 1983.
Our tasting room occupies one of two former classrooms, preserving the old schoolhouse character with original chalkboards, light fixtures, fir floors and moldings. Climb the rolling ladder to select a library book to read at the fireplace or sample your favorite wine at the 100-year-old Baker Boyer bank check stand.
In the cellar, enjoy the hand-painted children’s Christmas pageant mural which served as the stage background in the school's multi-purpose room. Don’t forget to take a drink from the children’s water fountain outside the boy’s and girl’s rooms.
To read more about how the schoolhouse has inspired us, click here.