Posted in History, Oakland, Schools

School War Work in 1918

Oakland Tribune Oct 15, 1918

War work in the Oakland Public Schools during 1918 was considered one of the most important items in the curriculum by both the school administration and the teachers.

They felt the first duty of the schools was to aid the national government in winning the war to the best of their ability.

Service became the keynote of all work. Oakland’s boys and girls realized that they had a particular part to play in making the world a safe place to live in.

Sewing and Knitting Classes

Oakland Tribune Jul 07, 1918

During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.

Sewing Classes
Board of Education 1919

Boys and girls of all ages learned to knit, and tireless little hands were busy every spare moment making garments for sailors, soldiers, and people of stricken countries.

Berkeley Schools also helped
Oakland Tribune Aug 25, 1918
Oakland Tribune August 25, 1918

School and Home Garden Army

The urgent need for higher food production led to the organization of the School and Home Garden Army in Oakland. Fifteen thousand children enlisted, and 6,00 brought their gardens to successful harvests.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1918
Board of Education 1919

Jackson Furniture Company offered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1918

Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.

Oakland Tribune May 15, 1918

Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.

Oakland Tribune Oct 4, 1918

The Art Department devoted its time propaganda of publicity of the was needs through posters. 

The Manual Training shops worked closely with the Red Cross. They created items needed for hospitals.

Liberty Loans

The schools helped raised money through the various Liberty Bond/Loan Campaigns.

Board of Education 1919

More Info

Looking back at a 1918 parade that helped spread a deadly flu, leaving nearly 13,000 dead – SF Gate – September 22, 2019

1918 Flu Pandemic – Oakland Local Wiki

The End

Posted in Buildings, History, Oakland, Schools

The Oakland’s First School House

Oakland Tribune Feb 08, 1970

When Oakland was organized in 1852 there was no free public school. There was a private school at the corner of 2nd and Broadway run by Mrs. Monroe.

Old Fandango House
Oakland Tribune May 01, 1952
Sketch of Oakland’s first school building
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Photograph Collection

The town trustees saw the need for a school so the rented a room at the rear of a dance hall called a Fandango House at 2nd and Washington. The room was furnished with half a dozen wooden benches, a table for the teacher, a blackboard, a map of the world and a rawhide whip. 12 to 15 children attended this school.

Oakland’s FIrst School House – Oakland Tribune Jun 12, 1921

For control of the area around the harbor, Horace W. Carpentier donated a school building to the city. Redwood lumber was brought by oxen teams from the hills and a small structure was built at 4th and Clay Streets. It was 30 x 20 feet with a 12-foot ceiling and a shingled roof. A belfry with a small bell. Carpentier called the building, “substantial, elegant, and commodious”

from A Steeple Among the Oaks 

In June of 1853 when the school opened the citizens held a parade and 16 students carried a banner that read, “Our Duty to Our Country, First, Last, and Always”

Oakland History Room at Oakland Public Library

The first teacher of the school was Miss Hannah Jayne.  She taught until 1856 when she resigned to marry Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s pioneers.

Oakland Tribune 1936
Oakland History Group

In 1853, the First Presbyterian Church used the building for services. The current sanctuary of the church (built-in 1914) memorializes the schoolhouse in one of its stained glass windows showing church history.

Stained Glass showing Church History
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

By 1855 there were 155 children of school age in Oakland. The little schoolhouse could not house them all.

The old Carpentier school was replaced by a slightly larger building between Jefferson and Grove ( now Martin Luther King) 11th and 12th Streets.

The city continued to grow and so did the need for schools. By 1873 there were 13 buildings with more than 2000 children receiving instruction. By 1875 there were 3,225 attending school an increase of 1000 in 2 years.

First A.M.E. Church

The First A.M.E. Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of Oakland residents, and is the oldest African American church in Oakland. The church founders purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building. 

Oakland Tribune 1883

According to the article below the building was still there in 1921

Oakland Tribune 1921
Oakland Tribune May 1952
Oakland Tribune Sep 12, 1943

In 1943 the school district celebrated their 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with nearly 45,000 students.

More Info

Posted in Buildings, History, Streets, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 10

This is the tenth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I hope to show Then and Now pictures of most of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school I show. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from the pages in history books. 

Not all schools will be included in this series and sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes difficult. 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.

Golden Gate Elementary/Junior High School

Bay Public School was the first school in the Bay School District which is now the Golden Gate neighborhood. The 2-room schoolhouse was built in about 1875.

Bay Public School. Built-in 1875.
glass plate negative
ca. 1890
Gift of Fred L. Klinkner

In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced

Oakland Tribune Nov 19, 1892
New Bay Public School (built 1892)
Gift of Fred L. Klinkner

In 1922 a new red brick building was built.

Oakland Tribune

The School Today

CC SA-BY Our Oakland

The Berkley Maynard Academy is a charter school. The school is named after publishers Thomas L. Berkley and Robert Maynard.

Berkley Maynard Academy – Website

Herbert Hoover Junior High School

Herbert Hoover Junior High School (1929–1974) was located at 3263 West Street.

Plans for the new Clawson-Longfellow Junior High School were drawn in 1928. It was the last school to be built using the 1924 bond issue of $9,600,000.

Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1928

The school’s cornerstone was laid on March 4, 1929, the same date as President Hoovers inauguration as the nation’s 31st president.

Oakland Tribune March 05, 1929

It was designed by John I. Easterly. 

The official dedication events for the school held during American Book Week, November 11-17, 1929

Oakland Tribune November 07, 1929

School Unsafe –

In 1972 the School board approved the replacement of 3 schools. The schools deemed unsafe in an earthquake.

The schools were Clawson and Durant Elementary and Hoover Jr. High. A new k-4th Grade was to be built on the Hoover site and a 5th – 8th at the Durant site.

The school was demolished in 1974, to be replaced with a more earthquake-safe lower school.

The School Today

The school is located at  890 Brockhurst Street, Oakland, CA

Hoover Today – Google Maps
Hoover Today – Google Maps
  • Hoover Elementary School – Website

More Info

Longfellow Elementary School

I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.

Oakland Tribune Nov 29, 1904

Longfellow Elementary school was opened in 1907 and was located at 39th and Market Street.

In March of 1907, a couple of the school board members questioned the name of Longfellow for the school. One thought it was too close to the Berkeley school with the same name. The other questioned the school being named after a dead poet who never did anything for the city. The name stayed with only one dissent.

New School

In 1957 plans were drawn up by the firm of Alexander and Mackenzie. The plans call for 16 classrooms, kindergarten, library, special education room, multipurpose room, and administrative offices at a cost of $623, 600.

The new Longfellow Elementary School was formally dedicated in November of 1959. The new school replaced the multi-storied building built after the 1906 earthquake. It Cost $595,000.

Just Say No to Drugs!

First Lady Nancy Reagan met with a group of elementary school students and their parents Wednesday to talk about ways to fight drug abuse, one of the biggest problems facing the city of Oakland. UPI – July 1984


Longfellow Today – Google Maps

Today the Longfellow School site is being used by the Oakland Military Institute.

Oakland Military Institute – website

Located at 3877 Lusk Street

More Info:

Lowell Junior High School

Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.

Oakland Tribune 1927

The new building cost between $288,000 and $ 320,000 (depending on what I read). The building fronted on Myrtle Street at 14th Street.

  • Groundbreaking – 1927
  • Cornerstone laid – 1927
  • Dedicated Jan 1928

 Howard Schroder noted Oakland architect designed the school.

Oakland Tribune 1928

Name Change

Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.

Oakland Tribune 1924
Oakland Tribune 1927
Oakland Tribune Jun 10, 1926

In 1937 when the old McCymonds High School was abandoned, its students joined Lowell and then it was known as Lowell-McClymonds. A year later the name was switched to McClymonds-Lowell. The Lowell students were switched to Prescot Junior High in 1938.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955

When McClymonds new school was built on Myrtle Street the name was changed back to Lowell Junior High School;

Historic Site

The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955

Earthquake – 1955

Oakland Tribune Oct 1955
Oakland Tribune Oct 1955
Oakland Tribune Oct 1955

The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.

Oakland Tribune October 1955

The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 1959.

Oakland Tribune Nov 1959

The new school located at 1330 Filbert Street cost $1,656,083 and was designed by Warnecke and Warnecke.  

The new building had 18 general classrooms, 5 special Ed, 3 Art rooms, 3 homemaking rooms, 2 

More Info:

Peralta School

I haven’t found any early photos of Peralta. Does anyone have any?

April 1886
Oakland Tribune 1897
Oakland Tribune Nov 30, 1913

Peralta Today

Peralta Today

More Info

Posted in Buildings, History, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 7

This is the seventh in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Manzanita Grammar School

In 1909 the Board of Education annexed the Fruitvale and Melrose School Districts. More on the history of annexation in Oakland.

Oakland Tribune 1909
Oakland Tribune 1910

The first school to open was Manzanita Grammar School located on 26th Street between 24th and 25th.

The 2-story building with 8 classrooms, a principal’s office, teachers’ locker room, library, and a kitchen was designed by F.D. Voorhees and cost $23,000.

Oakland Tribune June 28, 1970

In 1920 there was a gas explosion in the basement of the school.

Manzanita Annex

Oakland Tribune Jan 1926
Best Copy I could Get

In January of 1926 the board of education accepted the plans for an annex to be added to the building already on the site. The new structure will cost $70,000.

In September of 1926, it was determined that the (new) Manzanita Annex that was more than halfway done was unsafe. The concrete work was entirely defective and to make the building safe for occupancy they had to remove the entire structure above the foundation.

Oakland Tribune Sept 1926

The Alameda County Grand Jury was asked to investigate the faulty construction of the $70,000 school building.

New School Dedicated

A dedication ceremony was held in January of 1927 for the new $70,000 Manzanita School Annex at 24th Avenue and E.26th. The Mission style edifice had 8 classrooms and kindergarten and a restroom for teachers.

The new building adjoined the old school building.

Oakland Tribune Jul 4 1956

In 1956 it was proposed that the 46-year-old 3-story building would be replaced with a new school building. 

In 1958 bids were accepted to demolish the old school built-in 1909.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1958

The new building was designed by Donald S. Mackey architect and it contained 15 classrooms, 1 kindergarten, 1 special education room, cafeteria, a library, and offices.

The new building was dedicated in September 1958

Manzanita Today

Manzanita is located at 2409 East 27th Street, Oakland.

Manzanita School Today

Manzanita Community School (MCS) is a small school located in the heart of the Fruitvale neighborhood. Our bilingual program is K-3. We are one of the most diverse schools in OUSD. 

Manzanita Community School – website

More on Manzanita

Maxwell Park School

I am sorry to say I haven’t been to lucky with finding pictures of the first school or older pictures of the present school. Hopefully someone might have some to share.

The School Today

Maxwell Park School was established in August of 1924, in a single portable shack. It was then a part of Horace Mann School.

In April 1925 preliminarily plans for a new Maxwell Park school were approved.

In 1925 it became a separate school, with Miss. Sue Dunbar as principal and a faculty of four teachers.

In January of 1926 a new six-room structure was dedicated.

I haven’t found any picture of the first school.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1926
Oakland Tribune 1928

Additions are added

Oakland Tribune July 1930

New addition was complete and they eliminated the need for the portables, for now.

Oakland Tribune Jan 04, 1931

More construction in 1936

Oakland Tribune Mar 1936

The school is located at 4730 Fleming Avenue, Oakland

Maxwell Park Now


Melrose Leadership Academy now uses the school. It is a dual immersion school in form of bilingual education; Website

Elisabeth Sherman Elementary School

Sherman Elementary School is located in Maxwell Park The site close to Mills College.

In 1931 a new auditorium was dedicated. The auditorium was called “Little Theater” and it consisted of two portables joined together to make one. There was a stage built at one end.

Named After

Sherman Elementary was named after Elizabeth Sherman  (September 5, 1859 – June 27, 1937) was a long-time educator in Oakland in 1931.

In 1887 she was teaching at Lafayette Elementary School By 1907, she was the principal of the school. She retired from teaching in 1928.

New School

Oakland Tribune July 03, 1956

In 1956 architects Foulkes and Dennis drew up the plans for a structure to serve 325 students.

The new unit included admin. office, library, eight classrooms, one kindergarten, one special ed classroom and music room. They continued to use the auditorium built in 1936.

Ground was broken for the new school in May of 1957 and the students moved in February 1958. A formal dedication was in April 1958.

Oakland Tribune Feb 09 1958

The school is located at 5328 Brann St.

Sherman Today

Sherman Today

 Today Melrose Leadership Academy and Urban Montessori share the campuses at Maxwell Park and Sherman.

Urban Montessori Charter School (UMCS) opened in the fall of 2012 and became Oakland’s first public Montessori school.

  • Urban Montessori Charter School – website

Melrose Leadership Academy (MLA) is a public school that emphasizes leadership development and focuses on social justice in partnership with our families

More on Sherman

Webster Elementary School

The Daniel Webster School is located at the large lot bounded by Plymouth, Olive and 81st and 82ns Streets in East Oakland. The school over the years shorten the name to just Webster School.

Oakland Tribune November 27, 1921
Oakland Tribune November 27, 1921

The school opened in 1922 with just 4 classrooms , 200 students ans plenty of room to grow.

The construction of a 14 room addition and an auditorium to the school was to begin in July of 1925.

Below is how the school looked in 1925.

Oakland Tribune Oac 27, 1925

The school is located at 8000 Birch St.

Webster School Today

The Webster Elementary School site hosts the East Oakland PRIDE school program,

More of Webster School

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Elmhurst, History, Schools

Old Lockwood School

Oakland Tribune Oct 10, 1965

In 1858 Miss Julia Aldrich was contracted to run a small private school on Isaac (Issac) Yoakum’s farm. Yoakum had built his house on the site of the present Lockwood School, he later moved that house and replaced it with small building to be used as school (see above).

The school was located at the intersection East 14th Street (County Road No. 1525 and now International Blvd) Mary Street , then 68th Avenue, and later 69th Avenue. The schoolhouse remained in use for another 42 years with a small addition in 1892.

The first year Lockwood had 12 students enrolled.

Map from 1912 – the Red line is East 14th -68th

In February of 1876 there were 28 boys and 10 girls enrolled in the school. The teacher was Alonzo Crawford.

Oakland Tribune Mar 01, 1876

In August of 1876 (typo in newspaper) there were 20 boys and 21 girls enrolled.

  • The Damon Family owned a general store at the corner of E.14th & 66th
  • The Kinsell Family lived on 94th Avenue just below E. 14th
  • The A.H. Merritt family lived on 66th Avenue
  • The Moss home was at 82nd and Foothill
  • The Silva’s owned a saloon at 84th and E. 14th

New School – 1902

The new school was built on the corner of East 14th Street and 68th Avenue in 1902. Charles H Greenman was the principal. The school was demolished (need to verify this) in 1936.

Lockwood Public School
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company
Oakland Tribune 20, 1902
The Oakland Tribune Collection, the Oakland Museum of California. Gift of ANG Newspapers circa 1917

Greenman died while fighting a fire in the school playground in 1919. In the 1950s they named the athletic field after Greenman.

Oakland Tribune 1909

Across from the school was the 282 acre dairy belonging to William Machindo. The big pasture was later used as the landing field of Weldon Cooke an early Oakland aviator. In 1910 Wickham Havens subdivided the into what we now know as Havenscourt.

Old School is Sold – 1903

Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1903

Class of 1904

Oakland Tribune May 1948

Lockwood Junior High – 1912

Lockwood School – Havenscourt Area
East 14th Street (now International Blvd) and Mary (now 68th) Avenue
Circa 1912
Photographer: Cheney Photo Advertising Company

Also known as Havenscourt Junior High

Now the Coliseum College Prep Academy – OUSD

Old Timers Reunions

For many years the former students of the school would hold an annual reunions for all graduates of the school.

Class of 1898
Oakland Tribune Feb 16, 1932
Class of 1894
Oakland Tribune May 13, 1959
CLASS of 1898
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1951

The Lockwood Quill

Lockwood School Band

Lockwood Band 1905
Oakland Tribune May 1947
Oakland Tribune November 03, 1905
Oakland Tribune Aug 05, 1909

Traffic Reserve

The first traffic reserve unit was formed at Lockwood in February, 1928.

More Info on Lockwood

The present Lockwood School building was built in 1953-54

In 2007 Futures Elementary School opened as a small school on historic Lockwood campus, which has been home to students for more than 100 years. 

  • Futures Elementary School – OUSD

The End

Posted in History, Montclair, Oakland, Uncategorized

Fire in the Hills – 1943

In December, 1943, there were winds up to 75 MPH and many fires in the hills and the East Bay. There were at least 10 brush and grass fires reported all over Northern California.

The smell of burning eucalyptus hung over the city for hours

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 19443

The largest fire in the Oakland hills started near Broadway Terrace and Skyline, in the area above the Broadway Tunnel (Caldecott Tunnel). There was a fire on Snake Road.

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

The fire started just after midnight and burned for about 3 hours. The fire was most likely started by down wires knocked down by gale force winds. There were over 30 fires reported all over Oakland

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

Wind and Fires Wreck Havoc

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
  • Fire destroyed the garbage facility at the end of Davis Street
  • Fire on Mt. Diablo
  • 50 Boats smashed in Monterey
  • Tilden Park Fire
  • 1800 Acres burned in Concord
  • Napa County Swept by Fire


Posted in History, Oakland

Leona Canyon Fire – Oct 1960

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

On Saturday October 15, 1960 a brush fire started in the area of Mountain Blvd and Burckhalter Avenue.

The fire bore a striking resemblance to the disastrous 1923 Berkeley fire which swept from the hills, destroyed 600 buildings and leaving 4000 homeless.

Oakland Tribune Oct 16, 1960

The fire started at 11am and was under control by 2:30 pm and officially out by 4pm.

Oakland Tribune Oct 16, 1960

More than 200 firemen from the Oakland and San Leandro fought the fire for over four hours with the help of the residents who lived in the area. At times the fire came within feet of homes and rained sparks on their roofs. The damage was held to the loss of two homes, brush and oak trees.

From noon until 2pm the battle was a see-saw affair

Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960

Weekend Warriors

SF Examiner Oct 16, 1960

For the residents it was a battle to the death. They stood of roofs and garages pointing hoses with little pressure behind them at the walls of flame which roared through the brush and oak trees.

In the hills above Leona Street flames roared 50 feet into the air and came within that distance of homes. At one point police advised people advised the residents on Leona Street, Mountain Blvd and Mountain View Avenue to evacuate.

Cause Unknown

Oakland Tribune Oct 16, 1960

The cause of the fire was unknown. It ranged over an estimated 1200 acres after it’s start near Mountain Blvd and Burckhalter Avenue. It’s course along Mountain Blvd north westerly to Bermuda Avenue and up the hill towards Skyline Blvd.

There were unconfirmed reports of two boys playing with matches in the quarry area just before the fire started.

Oakland Tribune Oct 16, 1960

At time the winds gusted 45 mile-per-hour which spread the fire across Mountain Blvd. but quick work by firemen and homeowners stopped the fire from spreading in that direction.

More than 100 homes were endangered during the day. Most were in the $30,000 brackett.

The Homes

  • 6384 Mountain Blvd – destroyed
  • 6434 Mountain Blvd – destroyed

The home at 6434 Mountain Blvd belonged to William Crecque and 6384 Mountain Blvd belonged to Charles Suggs.


The End