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
During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.
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.
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.
Jackson Furniture Companyoffered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.
Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.
Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.
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.
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.
According to the article below the building was still there in 1921
In 1943 the school district celebrated their 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with nearly 45,000 students.
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 HighSchool
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.
In 1885 two more rooms were added. In 1892 the school was replaced
I haven’t had much luck with finding any photos of the old Longfellow School.
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.
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
Lowell Junior High that most people will remember opened in January of 1928.
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.
Prior to Lowell opening in 1928, the school was called Market Street Junior High.
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.
When McClymonds new school was built on Myrtle Street the name was changed back to Lowell Junior High School;
The new building replaced an old historic wood-framed building that had the distinction of being the “most named” school.
Earthquake – 1955
The building was damaged during an earthquake on October 23, 1955.
The formal dedication for the new Lowell Junior High was in November 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
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 annexationin Oakland.
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.
In 1920 there was a gas explosion in the basement of the school.
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.
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.
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.
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 is located at 2409 East 27th Street, Oakland.
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.
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.
In February of 1876 there were 28 boys and 10 girls enrolled in the school. The teacher was Alonzo Crawford.
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.
Greenman died while fighting a fire in the school playground in 1919. In the 1950s they named the athletic field after Greenman.
Across from the school was the 282 acre dairy belonging to William Machindo. The big pasture was later used as the landing field ofWeldon Cookean early Oakland aviator. In 1910 Wickham Havens subdivided the into what we now know as Havenscourt.
The fire bore a striking resemblance to the disastrous 1923 Berkeley fire which swept from the hills, destroyed 600 buildings and leaving 4000 homeless.
The fire started at 11am and was under control by 2:30 pm and officially out by 4pm.
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
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.