My 100th post!
This is the first in a series of posts on Oakland Schools.
I hope to show Then and Now images of most of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school I show. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings, postcards, or from the pages in history books.
Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions
Updated September 20, 2020
Castlemont High School
In 1863 Frank Silva purchased 73-acres of land for a farm. Castlemont High now stands on his land.
Castlemont High School is in Oakland, California, United States, formerly known as East Oakland High School. The Castlemont name was selected by a vote of the students. Castlemont High School was founded in 1929 in a medieval-style building. The school is located at 8601 MacArthur Boulevard.
On August 12th, 1929, East Oakland High School opened at the cost of $670,000. Still, the name was short-lived, by a vote of the students and faculty in 1930 the name Castlemont was officially brought to prominence before being nationally designated the most beautiful school structure in the country.
The buildings’ main entrance accessed from Foothill Blvd down six steps to the reflection pool then ascends six steps to the extended terrace and the four entry solid redwood doors. The full length of Castlemonts grounds adjacent to Foothill having been magnificently landscaped.
Castlemont High circa 1929
Castlemont High circa the 1930s
The building was replaced in 1961 as the old one was not earthquake safe.
Castlemont High Today
For eight years, from 2004 to 2012, the large school housed three separate smaller schools called the Castlemont Community of Small Schools. The smaller schools were known by the names:
- Castlemont Leadership Preparatory High (10-12)
- Castlemont Business and Information Technology School (10-12) (CBITIS)
- East Oakland School of the Arts (10-12)
- New Castlemont School – Oakland Tribune Sep 21, 1961
- Castlemont Community of Small Schools – Wikipedia
- Castlemont High School – Oakland Local wiki
- Castlemont High School website – OUSD
Dewey School was established as an elementary school at 38th avenue and East 12th Street in 1899. It was a part of the Fruitvale School District.
It was named after Admiral George Dewey, who was a hero in the Spanish-American War that was being fought at that time.
In 1964 Dewey became the first continuation high school in Oakland. Below is how Dewey looked in 1964. In 1913 an addition was added to the original school, and it was still in use in 1964.
Dewey is now located at 1111 2nd Ave, Oakland, CA, 94606
The Brooklyn School was a two-story building built in 1863-64 at the cost of $5,000.
Brooklyn was annexed into Oakland in 1872. After the annexation, the nine-year-old school was renamed Franklin Grammar and Primary School.
An addition to the school was added in 1879 at the cost of $3,217.
On December 02, 1902, the school was destroyed by fire.
When the SF earthquake of 1906 struck, the new school building was almost complete. The brick and steelwork were done, and the building was ready for the roof. When the school was finally done, the total cost was $204,343,45.
Franklin Grammar School – Cheney Photo Advertising Circa 1912
In 1923 an oblong-shaped assembly hall was built at the rear of the school on 10th Ave and E16th. The cost $40,000.
In 1943 the schools’ address was 1530 Ninth Avenue.
In 1953, the 1906 brick building was declared unsafe. In 1955, it was demolished to make way for a new building. The new school was a principal part of the Clinton Park Urban Renewal Project. The school opened in Sept 1956 and was dedicated in Jan of 1957. The new school cost $467,000.
In 1956 a man while remodeling his store found an old report card from 1875.
Franklin Elementary – today
The school is located at 915 Foothill Blvd
- Franklin School – Oakland Local Wiki
- Recollections of the Old Brooklyn School – Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1886
- Franklin School is Destroyed – Oakland Tribune Dec 30, 1902
- Inferior Constriction Franklin School – Oakland Jan 13,1908
- Two Ex-Students Return – Oakland Tribune Mar 29, 1926
- Franklin School Story Brings Back Memories – Oakland Tribune Feb 06, 1955
- New School Opens- Oakland Tribune Sep 09, 1956
- Franklin School Website – OUSD
Fremont High School
The John. C. Fremont High School was the successor of Fruitvale High School and was organized in 1905 by Frank Stuart Rosseter.
John C Fremont High School
Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910
The old building was destroyed in an arson fire on the night of January 1, 1930.
The school reopened on April 19, 1932. It was constructed with the assistance of the federal Public Works Administration (P.W.A.) funds.
- Path of Destruction – Oakland Tribune Jan 2, 1930
- A loss at $400,000 – Oakland Tribune Jan 2, 1930
- Group of photos of the School after the fire – OMCA
- Fremont High School – OUSD
- Fremont High School – Oakland Local Wiki
Frick Junior High
Frick was built on the Boulevard between Baker and Bay View (now Foothill and 62nd). The school takes its name from W.P. Frick, who donated the lot the school is to be built on. It was then part of the Lockwood District. The school was dedicated on March 17, 1909.
W.P Frick School
circa 1913 Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company
The first school was kindergarten through the seventh grade. The building had 8 rooms. With the rapid growth of the area around Frick School, it was decided to make Frick school a junior high in 1923.
In 1927 a new school was built on adjoining land and was called Frick Jr. High School. The style of the new building Spanish and Moorish architecture.
Another New School
In 1953 it was determined that the 1927 building was an earthquake risk. In 1957 the was broken for a new school fronting Brann Street. The old building was razed during the summer of 1960. The present school has been in use since 1960-61.
Frick School today – Google Maps
It is now called Frick Impact Academy
- School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Mar 28, 1909
- Ground Broken for New School – Oakland Tribune May 20, 1926
- Frick School Completed – Oakland Tribune Jun 05, 1927
- Frick Junior High website – OUSD
Hamilton Junior High School
Alexander Hamilton Junior High was built in 1922. The school is located at 2101 35th Avenue.
Athletic Festival at Hamilton Junior High
It was named after Calvin Simmons sometime in the early to mid-1980s. The school was renamed United for Success Academy in 2006.
The school today. Google Maps
Horace Mann Grammar School
Horace Mann was built in about 1910-1912. The school is located at 5222 Ygnacio Avenue. It was known as Melrose Heights School first.
Horace Mann Grammar School
Ygnacio and Vicksburg Avenue
Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1912
Groundbreaking for the new Horace Mann school after it was determined to be not earthquake safe was in 1959. The new school was formally dedicated in 1961.
Horace Mann today – Google Maps
- Groundbreaking for Horace Mann School – Oakland Tribune Mar 07, 1959
- Horace Mann Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Mar 20, 1961
- Horace Mann Website – OSUD
Sequoia Elementary School
Sequoia Elementary School is located on Lincoln Avenue at Scenic Avenue. It was built in 1910. Ida M. Hammond was the first principal. The building below is facing Scenic Avenue. The address of the school is 3730 Lincoln Avenue.
Original Sequoia School
Lincoln Avenue and Scenic Street
Cheney Photo Advertising Company circa 1910
In 1926 a new school building was built adjoining the original. The new building will have 13 to 14 rooms and an auditorium. It will face Lincoln Avenue, as seen below.
The original building is razed to make room for a new $235,880 addition. The addition added seven classrooms and a cafeteria.
Sequoia School today. Google maps
- Sequoia Elementary School – OUSD
- Groundbreaking Sequoia School – Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1926
- Sequoia School Tour Set – Oakland Tribune Jan 20, 1960
Please see Part 1 B for University High School