The old schoolhouse was originally built in 1873 as a school and the community center for the settlement of Orestimba, a settled area of the West Side which preceded the establishment of the towns of Newman and Crows Landing. On Sundays the old school house served as a Presbyterian Church. In 1918 the building was moved and became a ranch house for a local farmer, Cole Williams. Eighty years later it was rescued from destruction with the founding of the Newman Historical Society.
In 1995, the Newman Historical Society began its mission to preserve West Side history by acquiring this historical building. After more than a year of negotiations, the City of Newman gave a city-owned site to the care of the Newman Historical Society, and the old schoolhouse was finally moved to its current site in December of 2000; it is now located where the old Orestimba High School stood before it was razed in the 1960s.
The old school house rings with the laughter of the children once more. After extensive renovation to bring the building up to State code standards, the old schoolhouse is now the site of the Newman Cooperative Pre-school, and is used as a meeting place for the Newman Historical Society. To top the old schoolhouse, Donna and Sheldon "Pat" Crow generously located and donated a 60-pound school bell from 1895 which once rang in a schoolhouse in the state of Missouri. A bell tower to house the new acquisition is currently underway, and will be the crowning achievement to this extensive project.