In the first 36 years, the school changed location five times and gone by eight different names.
A Bit of History
In January 1915, McClymonds High School started in a small building formerly occupied by Oakland Technical High School at 12th and Market with sixty students. Originally called the Vocational High School and was the first public school in California to offer vocational training.
J.W. McClymonds directly inspired the organization of the school, superintendent of the Oakland Schools between 1889-1913 (Oakland Tribune Mar 09, 1924), and the name was changed to McClymonds Vocational School.
In 1924 the school was moved to a new building at 26th and Myrtle, and its name was changed to J.W. McClymonds High School.
It became just plain McClymonds High in 1927. The building was condemned in 1933, and classes were moved to Durant School.
In 1936 McClymonds High School and Lowell Junior High School were merged to form a new high school on Lowell Site at 14th and Myrtle Streets. McClymonds High thereby became a four-year high school.
In 1938 the name changed from J.W. McClymonds to Lowell-McClymonds, then in July of the year to McClymonds-Lowell High School.
Finally, in September 1938, they moved back to the old site at 26th and Myrtle Streets after the buildings were reconstructed at the cost of $330,000. The alumni won out, and once again it was McClymonds High School as it is today.
The new high school occupying the entire block at 26th and Myrtle Streets, erected at the cost of $660,000 was dedicated in March of 1924.
The school was named in honor of J.W McClymonds, who had died two years earlier. The ceremony was held on Mar 09, 1924.
McClymonds High School was completed in 1924 as a part of the school building program of 1919. The new building contained 35 classrooms, 11 shops, administrative offices, storerooms, science, millinery, and art rooms and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1000. There were shops for forge work, auto repair, machine work, pattern making, woodworking, electrical engineering, and printing. The machinery in the shops costs several thousands of dollars.
The milliner’s art “so dear to the hearts of the fair sex” was introduced as a course for girls in schools of Oakland. Mcclymonds had a shop with machinery for fabricating and molding the millinery.
“The girls are virtually flocking to the new course, which teaches the latest in chic, feminine headgear.”
Out With The Old
In 1954 a new three-story reinforced concrete structure was dedicated.
The structure designed for 1200 students and contains 42 classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria, and library. Corlett and Anderson of Oakland were the architects.
The auditorium is in the two-story south wing and classes in the three-story building.
A class of 75 students was the first to graduate from the new McClymonds High in 1954.
In 1953 the old gym was condemned as an earthquake hazard and wasn’t replaced until 1957.
The new gym was the first Oakland school building to be built with tilt-up wall construction in which concrete wall sections are poured flat on the ground then raised into place.
Folding bleachers will seat 875 spectators. A folding partition will divide the main gymnasium into boys and girls for physical education classes.
The building also included an exercise room, shower and locker rooms, first-aid rooms, instructor’s office, and storage areas. Ira Beals designed it at the cost of $427,000.
McClymonds Field Dedicated – 1960
The new $625,095 track and field facilities was touted as one of the finest in the East Bay when the it was dedication ceremony was held.
The new tennis courts adjacent to the gym were dedicated to the memory of Earl M. Swisher, a former teacher, and tennis coach.
In 1964 three McCLymonds High School seniors drowned in the icy waters of Strawberry Lake in Tuolumne County.
The victims were:
Gloria Curry – Age 17
Carolyn Simril – Age 17
Melvin Lee Moore – Age 16
The trip was for the about 150 students called “honor citizens” because of outstanding community and school service.
Most of the students were on the ski slopes, and sled runs at Dodge Ridge. Between 15 and 20 of them were on the frozen lake when the ice gave away.
The students said there were no signs on the lake warning of thin or rotten ice.
A heroic rescue by three boys and two men saved the lives of at least ten students when the ice broke about 150 yards from the shore.
Carolyn Simril died while trying to pull somebody out and fell in herself.
A large crowd waited in front of Mcclymonds High for the three buses to return. They knew that three students had drowned, but they didn’t know who they were.
McClymonds High School is a highly valued icon of the West Oakland community as it is the only full-sized OUSD High School in the region. It is located near the intersection of Market Street & San Pablo Avenue in the Clawson neighborhood, which contains a mix of residential and commercial development with a handful of industrial yards
The school is located at 2607 Myrtle Street Oakland, CA 94607
In 1924 brothers Paul and Herman Pause formed Montclair Realty Co. Before that, Paul worked for the Realty Syndicate.
The business district of Montclair looked like this when Montclair Realty was formed. Cos. Williams, a builder, was the only other business at that time.
In 1932 they moved into their new offices at6466 Moraga Avenue. The building was occupied by B. Brooks, another real estate agent. The building was still standing in 2019.
6466 Moraga Avenue – 2019
Montclair Highlands “All the World No View Like his”
In 1928 Montclair Realty was the developer and selling agents for a new tract behind the business district of Montclair. One of the first homes was the “Model View Home,” built-in 1928. Please see my page on this – The Highest Home in Oakland
In 1934 Montclair Realty celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this time, they specialized in the development of the Montclair area. Oakland Tribune 1934
In 1937 Paul Pause announced that Montclair Realty Company had a new home. The new two-story building was designed by Harvey Slocombe in an authentic Spanish style, complete with patio and tile roof. Howard Gilkey developed the garden.
Dramatically different the Pent House Model home brings to you “Ideas of 1938” in colorful interior finishes and modern furnishings. – Oakland Tribune 1937
The building was demolished in 1961 to make room for the expansion of the Standard Station next door.
Silver Anniversary – 1949
Paul Pause was a founding member of the Montclair Improvement Club. He was a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce residential committee and its highway and transportation committee. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Club.
Death and New Owners
Paul Pause died in 1950. He was an essential figure in the development of Montclair since the beginning.
Lucille Chasnoff purchased the company sometime after Pause died in 1950. John Mallett purchased the company from her.
New Office in 1954-56
In 1954 a new office building was built at 2084 Mountain Blvd. Montclair Realty offices were on the ground floor. It was the only office building that had its own off-street parking. The offices featured gold walls with charcoal woodwork with built-in desks and partitions. In 2019 a brand new building replaced the old and outdated Montclair Realty Office Building.
Merriewood is a section or neighborhood of Montclair District of Oakland. The Realty Syndicate were the exclusive agents selling the tract. It first went on sale in 1924.
Oakland Tribune stated that:
no other tract in Oakland can offer such a “combination of magnificent view and comfortable home” The ad went on to say “it is so pleasant and healthful with trees all around and birds singing away –Great for youngsters” October 1925
Lots in Merriewood were selling for as little as $1750 and as much as $2450 for a completely finished home. $30 a month with interest.
What your money bought in the 1920s:
Large lot wooded and clear
Well built roomy house
Variety of floor plans
Gas, lights, water, paved streets
Fast local and San Francisco transportation
The Merriewood Stairs are divided into two sections the Lower Merriewood stairs (from Thornhill Drive to Marden Lane to Merriewood) and the Upper Merriewood stairs (from Merriewood Drive to Valley View Road to Merriewood again). Merriewood Stairs _ Oakland Local Wiki.
In Merriewood, there is a group of streets named for the signs of the Zodiac. The streets are Aquarius Way, Capricorn Ave, Leo Way, Taurus Ave, Uranus Ave, and Virgo Rd. There are small cluster streets named in honor of Robin Hood. They are Nottingham Dr., Robin Hood Way, and Sherwood Dr. Street Names Oakland Local Wiki
Various Clippings from the Oakland Tribune
From the Oakland Tribune 1924
First Model Home
The first model home was located on Thornhill Drive and Grisborne Ave. The address was 5815 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive). It served as the model home and tract office for Merriewood. Later it was the offices of Phil Hearty, who sold real estate in Montclair for years, he also was involved in the development of many tracts in Oakland.