Posted in Buildings, Early Montclair, History

Hays School in Montclair

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Hays Schoolhouse
Students and teachers pose in front of the School
c 1886 Oakland History Room

In March of 1886, the Board of Supervisors created a new school district.  That took from portions of the Piedmont, Peralta, and Fruitvale districts and representing about 44 children. The new district was called the Hays district, in honor of the late Colonel John Coffee Hays.  The superintendent appointed the following residents of the area as trustees:

  • W.H. Mead
  • J H Medau
  • Susan Hays (widow of Colonel Hays)
Oakland_Tribune_Tue__Mar_16__1886_
Oakland Tribune Mar 1886

The land for the school was given to the district from Hetty S. Henshaw.   The Montclair Firehouse was built in the spot in 1927, using the front part of the lot. 

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Oakland Tribune Jul 1886

New School Built

Requests for bids to build the school were made in July of 1886.

Oakland_Tribune_Wed__May_19__1886_

The completed school was small at only 32×36 feet,  with just one classroom.  It was Gothic in design with a graceful looking bell tower.  It had two entrances, one for the boys and the other for the girls each entrance having a 6×6 vestibule.  The sash bars of the windows are all horizontal, after the style of the school buildings in Europe.  The building cost about $2,500 and took about two months to build. The architects were

Oakland_Tribune_Wed__Jul_7__1886_
Oakland Tribune July 1886

The building was designed by Goodrich & Newton

Oakland Tribune 1887

Dedication

The dedication of the school was held in October 1886.  It was attended most of the families that lived in the area.  Opening remarks were made by Judge EM Gibson and W.H Mead.  Some of the families in attendance:

Entertainment provided by the students from the school under the direction of their teacher Miss Lucy Law.  The following students performed:

  • Clara Gibson
  • Gussie Gibson
  • Carrie Mead
  • Daisy Mead
  • Susie Mead
  • Mattie Mead
  • Edith Medau
  • Louise Medau
Oakland_Tribune_Sat__Oct_16__1886_
Oakland Tribune October 1886
Oakland Tribune Feb 11, 1888
Oakland Tribune Mar 16, 1888

Graduation 1901

Oakland Tribune June 1901

Attendance for the year ending 1911 for the Hays School was 11 students.

Oakland TRibune Aug 01, 1911

The school was closed in around 1913 and the building was demolished.  It was probably due to construction of the Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway later known as the Sacramento Northern.   For more on the Sacramento Northern please go here. The East Bay Hills Project

Montclair Firehouse

The Montclair firehouse was built in 1927 on the same site. The story book style building was designed by Eldred E. Edwards of the Oakland Public Works Department.

Storybook firehouse on Moraga Avenue in the
Montclair district of Oakland, California. 1934, ohrphoto.districts.031.
Oakland. Buildings Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Misc Articles

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Oakland Tribune 1891
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Oakland Tribune Nov 1889

A little controversy. From 1891 and 1895

For More on Hays Canyon

The End