Location: From Mainstreet and Parker Road, drive south on Parker Road for .55 miles to Hilltop Road. Turn left on Hilltop and drive for 6.1 miles to Flintwood Road. Turn right and continue for .4 miles. The school is on the left.
Hill Top, Colorado, later renamed “Hilltop,” was located in Douglas County at the junction of Hill Top Road and Flintwood Road. It had been originally called "Bellview", but with the coming of the Denver & New Orleans Railroad, the name was changed for two reasons. Firstly, there was already a Bellview in northern Colorado, and secondly, the town was situated at the top of a steep grade that the train would have to climb. In the early years that steep grade would require two engines to haul a load. The Bellview post office was therefore renamed Hill Top in 1890 and its spelling changed to Hilltop in 1896.
Hill Top’s first school was a log structure situated about a quarter of a mile or so to the west of the current structure, on the north side of Democrat Road. Initial classes were held in a woodshed until the school’s completion in 1888. The school was deemed to be District # 30. Its first class had 11 scholars: George, Robert, and Grace Timson; James, Arthur & Curtis Monroe; Jimmy and Linda Arnett; Oscar and Charles Queim; Allie Laur, and Henry Benton. This school eventually burned and a new facility was needed.
About 1896 two acres of land were secured from the state for a new school site. In June of 1897, the new school was finished. Free text books were secured for the children.
As was the norm in those days, the schoolhouse became the social gathering point for the NE corner of Douglas County and beyond. The Record Journal reported in 1895 that four preachers were living in the vicinity of Hill Top, all ranching and preaching on Sunday: two United Brethren, and two Free Methodists. There were two Sunday schools and two regular services each Sunday. Many a dance and oyster supper were held there. It became the home of the Ladies' Hill Top Social Club.
The school was a one-teacher endeavor for many years. About 1937, student populations dictated two teachers were needed, and a moveable partition was deployed to make two classrooms. The two-teacher set up was used only a few years. The school had a stage on the east end but at some point another moveable partition was installed and the stage became a sleeping unit for the teacher. High school students attended Parker High School until 1937, when they were taken to Castle Rock. The school closed in 1954 and it was turned over to the Hill Top Social Club to manage. It can still be rented out for various activities. (Please note: the Parker Area Historical Society does not own and does not arrange rentals for this property).
Information for this brief was obtained from Our Heritage by the Douglas County Historical Society, Douglas County by Josephine Lowell Marr, and A Guide Book to Historical Sites in Parker by F.B. McLaughlin.
Updated in October 2017.