Genealogy Trails Placer County, California Schools

Growth of Roseville Schools (ca. 1928)
The Old and New (Auburn High School ca. 1901)
The Public School House (Dutch Flat ca. 1875)

The Public School House

The new public school house of Dutch Flat is nearly completed. The workmen are putting on the finishing touches of cornice, molding, and paint. A brief description of it may be interesting to our readers. The building consists of two stories and includes a vestibule and four class-rooms. The vestibule is twenty by thirty feet in the clear and possesses all the modern improvements of an ante-room for the convenience of pupils. There are separate stairways leading to the upper story, one for boys and one for girls. Cold spring water is brought through pipes into the vestibule for the use of the pupils of each class-room. The four school rooms are each twenty-eight by thirty-eight from floor to ceiling. The rooms are all ample, spacious, well lighted, and thoroughly ventilated. The walls and floors between the school rooms are deadened, so that instruction may be given to each class without interruption. The frame construction of the building is of the most substantial character. The lumber is spruce and pine. The outside finish is rustic, and the inside is ceiling instead of lath and plaster. In the construction of the edifice, which is stately and imposing, all ornamentation has been made to lend to the useful and practical economy of normal instruction. The four school rooms will be entirely finished at the present time, leaving nothing undone for the future. But three rooms only will be furnished this year. The trustees have ordered 174 patent, iron standard, ingle desks and seats. As there are 219 school-able children in the district, this number of seats will probably accommodate the average daily attendance of pupils. However, if parents send their children to school regularly and punctually throughout the term, the trustees can at short notice furnish the fourth school room in order to meet the wants of the district. The board of trustees consists of Capt. M. S. Gardner, Allen Towle, Esq., and George C. Cabot, Esq. They have given their personal time and attention to the construction of the school house. Six weeks ago they commenced their work, and now they give notice that they will have it ready for dedication next week. The ladies of the district, we understand, are making great preparation for a social festival and dance. The upper rooms will be filled with tables loaded with all the delicacies of the season, and the lower floors will be given up to those who delight in the intricacies of the mazy dance. It is expected the Judge L. B. Arnold, candidate for County Judge, will deliver the opening address on the occasion. The exact day and evening of the dedication of the new school house will be duly announced through the columns of the Dutch Flat Forum.

[Dutch Flat Forum, Thursday, 10-21-1875. Submitted by Kathie Marynik]

The Old and the New


Born Sept. 13, 1897, to the city of Auburn, a High School. Died Jan. 9, 1901, by the action of the Supervisors, the only beloved High School of Auburn. Deceased was aged 3 years, 3 months, and 27 days. By vote of the people of Placer County, the Supervisors were compelled to establish one or more county high schools. Accordingly, after due preliminaries, on Jan. 9, the Board formally accepted the lease for the district high and applied the name of Placer County High School, wherefore the renowned Auburn High is no more. In an honored grave on the hill-top lies buried the soon to be forgotten ashes of the District High, but deep in the minds and hearts of the 70 or 80 pupils that have worshipped the goddess of wisdom within its crumbling old walls will remain the ever-green and pleasant memories of happy days of study and fun, of glorious hard-earned victories on the grid-iron and track; of delightful socials and receptions where we all met to greet the shy Freshman or bid farewell to the learned Senior. Yes, all these and many others also will in future years form the pleasantest recollections of our happy school days. But let us now, as is customary, review the life of that which is now dead and gone. On Sept. 13, 1897, just three short years ago, 18 pupils began under Prof. W. M. Mackay, the first term of the AHS. Only a few in number, only one class to recite, and the whole live-long day to do it in. And how they all did study, never thinking of leaving for home ‘till five and six o’clock although the dismissal hour was half after three. But then as now, the Prof. did not believe in all work and no play, and the pupils had their little socials, picnics, and hay rides to lighten their tasks. Of course, here as elsewhere, some fell by the wayside, but the rest struggled bravely on, and at the close of the term, 10 successfully passed the X’s for the middle year. At the opening of the second year, there came 20 graduates from grammar schools of Placer and also Mrs. J. Hughes the first two months, Miss Williams the rest of the term, to aid the Prof. by taking both classes in history. That year was one of pure delight to the highest class, for then they heard for the first time the novice at his Latin lesson. What joy it was to watch the Junior rise on quaking limbs and stutter and stammer out the bothersome “amo, amas, amat;” to watch them start and shiver whenever the Prof. thundered out in his kindly, yet seemingly sarcastic remark, “Don’t hurry at all,” whenever some poor fellow recited his lesson with an interval of more than four or five minutes between each sentence. Truly all this was fun for the middlers, but the Juniors had their turn at it when in September 1899, a class, entering for the four years course, welled the total number to 42. At this time, Mr. Beke made his appearance as assistant Prof. and then the talk was all of athletics. Don’t you remember, boys, the change that took place? Associations were formed, football and track teams were organized, basketball and tennis made their appearance, league games with other schools were arranged, the custom of yearly receptions to the Freshman was inaugurated; in short, a whole lot of college spirit became manifest and, after we won the first game of football between the Boers and the High on Thanksgiving Day 1899, it became “Our High School” instead of “The Auburn High.” And then that year, we sent our examination papers to Berkeley and later the Berkeley examiners came to examine us orally. Oh, those examiners. Weren’t they awful? We never knew when they were coming and didn’t we use to hate sight of those dapper little gentlemen (they were all small in stature only) trotting gayly up and announcing themselves as Prof. in English, Latin, etc. What wild grabs for books to get a last look before the awful ordeal, and how funny we must have looked to those learned gentlemen. But never mind, we were accredited in spite of the fact that everyone said it was no use trying for it. On Feb. 22d, 1900, at the race-track, we played football with the Sacramento High boys and won with the score of 11 to 5. We were a very happy crowd that day, and we celebrated the victory by a reception in the evening to the Sacramento boys. You can guess we had lots of fun. “Swift the happy days went by. Days of blue uncloudless sky.” And soon came the end of the third year. On the night of June 8, 1900, the first graduating class of the AHS made its appearance before the public. There were ten in all and ne’er was seen a brighter class. We were proud of them and so was everyone who had watched and aided their progress, but that dear old class is scattered now; five have gone to Varsity and they are winning new laurels for themselves and the AHS. This year, August 28, 1900, we began school with 51 pupils. Quite a showing, is it not? During the earlier part of the year, we played baseball at the track with the Grass Valley High boys and again victory was ours. On Thanksgiving Day was the game of football with the Auburn team, and we there felt the first and only pangs of defeat. December 8th at Sacramento we played a return game with the Sacramento boys, and the score was 12 to 5 in our favor, and with this glorious record we close the record of the illustrious Auburn High School. Now at the dawning of a new century, at the opening of a new year, under the most favorable auspices, the Placer County High School will assume the place left vacant by the Auburn High, and it is our most earnest wish that ere another century shall have dawned the Placer High will be the best and most honored institution of the State. [signed] Billy Boy [Placer Herald (Auburn), Saturday, 1-19-1901. Submitted by K. Marynik]

Growth of the Roseville Schools

The first great event in Roseville’s history was the laying out of the town in 1864. The name was taken from the Rose Spring Rancho on whose land the town was laid out. Eight years later, 1872, the school history begins with the formation of the first school district. This was formed from and called the Dry Creek School District. In 1874 the population of Roseville was 288. The schools had a registration of 38, with one teacher. The town was then known as Roseville Junction being the junction point for the eastern and northern lines of the Southern Pacific railroad. The next date of importance is 1890, sixteen years later. The population had increased to 400, and the students in school numbered 72, nearly double the earlier figure. Two teachers were employed. For the next seventeen years, little or no growth in population is recorded. Two teachers remained in charge of the school which was located on Vernon Street. In 1890 came rumors of the removal of the Rocklin railroad yards to Roseville which caused a great deal of excitement and speculation. The year 1908, on April 25th, saw the removal of the last S. P. round house to Roseville. The coming of these yards caused a tremendous increase in population, from about 400 to over 2000. The school registration jumped to 400, or as much as the former population. This increase, of course, taxed the resources of the schools to the utmost. A bond issue of $20,000 was the result, which carried by a vote of 9 to 1. Two buildings of four rooms each were constructed from this money, one on Vernon Street and the other on Main Street. In 1910 when these buildings were completed, 400 pupils entered in September under the care of four teachers in each building. The population of the town had doubled again, being around 4000. The year 1912 saw many changes of importance. This year saw much agitation and the circulation of a petition for the formation of a high school district. In that year there were 14 students attending high school in Sacramento and 10 in Auburn. Many more were anxious to attend if a school could be located here. Another event of importance was the building erected on the highest point in the city on land donated by A. B. McRae. Andrew Carnegie, of library fame, contributed much toward its consummation. It is a building which today is a credit to the students in their research work at school. 1914 saw $45,000 in bonds voted for the construction of a high school building and $20,000 more for additional construction on the grammar schools. In 1915 the completely equipped high school was finished, and the first high school classes started. This building is the central unit of our present plant and is now valued at more than double its cost. The $20,000 was used to add four rooms to each of the grammar school buildings. The period from 1915 to 1919 saw additional rooms added from year to year until in 1919 there were sixteen teachers employed and 657 pupils. The school houses were overcrowded and grades were doubled to the fifth. In 1920, $42,000 was voted for a new building. This was located on the Fisher tract on Atlantic Street and was completed in January 1921. It is a splendid building of tile and plaster, and steam heated for the comfort of the pupils. It contains a large auditorium with stage and other facilities for entertainments, together with six other rooms for study. The 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were moved to this building, and it was known as the Grammar School Building. This school really united the town into one city, as before each side of the town had its own school house with very little contact between then. 1922 saw 24 teachers and 747 pupils. In 1923 the schools were graded into a city school system, and two special teachers were added, one in music and one in art. The fourth bond issue of $2,000 was carried in 1925 for the purpose of constructing a new building. This located on the old school lot on Vernon Street and is a strictly modern concrete building of eight rooms. This building is now used for the primary children because of its greater comfort, being steam heated, and because of its superior fire-proof qualities. The year of 1927 saw the greatest registration in the history of the city. From the modest beginning in 1874, the schools have grown to a registration of 1287 pupils with a teaching staff of thirty-five. The large increase in population and consequent school attendance made necessary additional facilities at the Atlantic Street building. By a special tax, approximately $6,500 has been raised to add two rooms. A careful study of our system shows that we have made great progress in comparatively short space of time. New modern buildings have been built, and an efficient staff of teachers has been built up. It is but a step ahead when further progress will have to be made. The present wooden fire-traps on Vernon and Main streets must be replaced by fire proof buildings. This type of building is no longer considered safe for the housing of small children.[Roseville Tribune and Register, 5-2-1928. Submitted by K.Marynik]

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