Posted in Buildings, Montclair Tracts, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 9

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.  Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of 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 Dec 17, 2019

Montclair Grammar School

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies in their first school on March 14, 1926. The service under the direction of A.R. Romer, the principal and Mrs. J.D. Bishop, the teacher in charge of the 71 students already registered to attend the school.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

The four-room schoolhouse was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issue voted by the people of Oakland in 1924.

In attendance were Mrs. Stanton Lore representing the Montclair Women’s Club and Mrs. E.T. Jepsen of the Piedmont Avenue PTA

Oakland Tribune 1926
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927

The original building of brick with a tile roof was later considered an earthquake risk and razed in 1936. They used portables for many years.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1936

The new school building was dedicated in 1942, with nine classrooms, an administrative suite, an arts and crafts room, a PTA room, and a Library, was created. In 1947, a Cafeteria and Assembly Hall were added.

Auditorium
Montclair in the 1950s

Montclair is located at 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

2013, a new building was added to the campus, which houses a modern Multipurpose Room, new classrooms, a faculty lounge, and a living roof. A new learning garden and play structure were also added to the campus.

  • Montclair Website – OUSD

Thornhill Elementary School

Plans for a new school in the Montclair District were drawn up by local Montclair residents Robert “Bob” Goetz and Jens Hansen in association with Confer and Willis.

Drawing of Thornhill 1956

The site on Thornhill Drive at Alhambra was acquired through condemnation proceedings. The court awarded $48,000 to the landowner, Alice Taylor

Oakland Tribune July 4, 1956
Oakland Tribune July 4 1956
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1957
Montclarion 1957

The school was to be ready in September 1958 and will have an administration office s, a multipurpose room, library, 11 classrooms, and a kindergarten room.

Montclarion Oct 23, 1957
Oakland Tribune June 22, 1958
Thornhill 1959-60

Dedication – November 12, 1958

The Montclarion Nov. 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
The Montclarion Nov 1958

Bus Service

The school bus was approved by the district earlier in the year, stopping at both Thornhill and Montclair schools. The kids were picked up throughout the hills on the roads that were designated ‘safe.’ The bus service continued until 1959 when the service was going to be pulled but continued a little longer after the parents rallied to raise money to maintain the service.
Menu 1959
Jan 1959
Jan 1959
The Montclarion
Thornhill 1963-64

The school is located at  5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland

Thornhill Today

Thornhill Elementary – website
  • Thornhill Website – OUSD
  • Thornhill 50th Anniversary –blog

Joaquin Miller Elementary School

The bid was taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

First Graduate

In January of 1950, Judith Lowe, 12 daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lowe had the honor of being the first graduate of the school – she was the only one. She was the lone pupil in high sixth grade.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951
Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951

The school is located at 5525 Ascot Drive.

Joaquin Miller Today

Joaquin Miller today
  • Joaquin Miller website – OUSD

The End

Updated Nov 28, 2019

Posted in Black History, History, Montclair

Audrey Lucinda Robinson

Audrey Lucinda Robinson – 1915-2008

Audrey Robinson was the first African American teacher at Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland, Ca.

Mrs Robinson 1966 thornhill
Thornhill School 1966-1967

Early Years

Audrey Lucinda Robinson was the daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson.  She was born in 1915 in Oakland. She attended Peralta School and graduated from Claremont in 1930 and University High in 1933. The family lived at 6148 Colby Street.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jan_15__1928_.jpg
Oakland Tribune 1928

She was a member of the Colored YWCA at 8th and Linden in West Oakland.  She was a member of a club that included Lionel Wilson, the former Mayor of Oakland.

Audrey married Frederick D. Robinson, a Washington, D.C. police officer in 1941, shortly before he was deployed to fight in World War II. In 1944 Robinson died during combat in Italy.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_5__1942_
Oakland Tribune April 1942

Thornhill Elementary School

She was the first African American teacher at Thornhill School in the Montclair District of Oakland. She taught kindergarten for 10 years from 1966-1976. She said that she never experienced any form of racism from the children, staff, or parents. She said about one African American child would join her class every year. She loved her time at Thornhill and love the children. She was loved by the children.

Retirement

Audrey was dedicated to preserving the history of African Americans in the City of Oakland, and she volunteered with the African American Museum and Library of Oakland (AAMLO). She also became very active at the Oakland Museum, serving as Docent Chairman for the History Department. She also served as Vice President of Administration for the Cameron-Stanford House Preservation Association.

Audrey passed away in June of 2008 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Audrey was predeceased by her husband, a WW II fatality, and her son. She is survived by her daughter, Jeri, her grandson Frederick and two great-grandsons.

References:

The End