Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Once Upon a Time in Placerville #3: Back to School(s) No Longer There

Good morning. Gold Country Girl Tina posting today. All around me on the Georgetown Divide today kids are getting ready to attend their first day of school. Yes, in August. You can tell adults are in charge when children are made to go to school in August. How cruel and unusual. But it's the truth. When I was in school I was always happy because I was safe from school on my birthday (August 15th). But not any longer in El Dorado County. My granddaughters started school on August 11th. Is nothing sacred?
Above is an old postcard photo of El Dorado High School. This is the school my sisters and I attended. Most of it was torn down in 1974 and a more modern building was put up in its place. I guess it was about time, since when I was attending vines grew into the upstairs classrooms through the windows, and the roof leaked. And those were only the problems that we noticed as students. Who knows what was going on with the foundation? But we loved that old school, and still miss it.
Before our high school that we miss so much was built this old school above was the high school. It looks like another beautiful old building. It was located on Clay Street in Placerville. You can see the long line of steps stretching up to the building from Clay Street. I believe at least part of the steps are still there. The steps were a gift from a graduating class. Oh to be young and have the ability to climb all those steps! Notice all the great old houses to the bottom right of the school. There are only two that still exist.
This is the old Placerville Grammar School which used to stand on Cottage Street. An elderly friend of mine in Kelsey was once a student there. There is an empty lot now where it once stood. Later another grammar school was built close by, which has also been torn down and now apartments take its place.
Not to forget, as the children ready themselves for school, gathering their backpacks and lunch money, so are the teachers, principals, bus drivers and such. Don't we all have fond memories of our favorite teachers? My youngest granddaughter, who started at a new-to-her school (Indian Creek) last week after the closing of her former school (Charles Brown) was happily surprised to find she had the same teacher she had in kindergarten. This teacher collects hats and wears a different one every day. She sounds like fun. I am glad that there is someone familiar for Ashlynn to bond with in a new environment.
This photo is captioned Placerville School House Photo 1865. I do not know where it was located. I love to look at the photos of the children as they proudly pose with their teachers in their best or next-to-best clothes.
Here is another photo of the Placerville Grammar School which was on Cottage Street. A much bigger bunch of students than attended the last school.
A closeup of the group in front of the grammar school. The clothing and hats change over the years, but not the expressions. There are still the cut-ups, the eager ones, the bored...
Hey, let's get this photo taking over with, I have my bat and we want to play ball!
I am ending this with a short trip out to the Coloma and Lotus area. This is the Lotus School House, which actually is still standing. In the 1960s it was used as an art studio/gallery, and now is a private residence. I have always wanted to live in an old schoolhouse.
This is a photo of the interior of the Coloma Schoolhouse which is also still existing. It had a run-in a while back with a logging truck which failed to make the sharp turn to the left, and needed some repairs. In the 1960s this school was used as an antique shop.
Well, here are a bunch of eager school children gathered at the door of the Coloma School, anxiously awaiting their first day of school. I love the cute little overalls and drop-waisted dresses.
Good luck to all of you starting out to school today. I hope you like your teachers and enjoy learning. But I am so sorry you have to go to school in summer!


Heidi Ann said...

What a fascinating (school) lesson, and trip back through time! I always LOVE the old photos.
And I remain ever grateful that I never had to start school until September was here.
It's just wrong to go back in August.
SO wrong.

yosemite faith said...

love old photos and i also agree - no school til after labor day!!!! oh well - guess i am an old stick in the mud.

moonshinejunkyard said...

What a timely and interesting post! I love that you coordinated it with back-to-school days and I definitely agree, it has come awfully early this year! Poor kids, and college students too. That alone makes me consider some kind of alternative or home school when I become a parent, it's really important that children get to enjoy life and summer! Now, if the kids are going to one of those cool old-fashioned schoolhouses, different story, maybe it would be way cooler!

I loved learning about the high school. I went to El Dorado too, of course, and I had always heard about the old one on Clay Street; it was fascinating to see the old photo, makes my imagination wander to think of being a young lady around the turn of the century and walking up Main Street and turning left on Clay to go to classes!

Lorlore said...

I was in the class of 1973 at El Dorado , and we were the last class to graduate from the old ivy-covered brick building (shown in the top photo) before it was torn down. Oh, the memories - like passing out from the heat and menstrual cramps on the 2nd floor of that building during summer school 1969, the summer before my freshman year!
Yes - lots of memories from there!

Mary said...

I'm not sure about my paternal grandfather, but my parents went to the high school on Clay. I'm 3rd generation native & was class of 68 from El Dorado. I have my uncle's Certificate of Graduation from Placerville Grammar School dated June 19, 1914.