A group of well-dressed young men and women with their teachers

The graduating class of Mendocino High School in 1898. Back row, L to R: Unidentified, Joe Sharp (teacher), Rose Hargreave (teacher), Unidentified, John Brien, Unidentified, Harold Gray, Unidentified. Front row, L to R: Ethel Allen, Dana Gray, Unidentified, Alden Milliken, Edith Switzer, R. Y. Glidden (principal and teacher). Unidentified students appearing in this photo: Emma Hass, Carrie Hoak, Daisy Seavey, Rose Silva, Rose Patton. (A. O. Carpenter (photographer), Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

January 18, 1895 – Mendocino High School held its first Literary and Musical program. Principal R. Y. Glidden delivered the welcoming address. Mabel Jarvis, Edith Switzer, Florence Jarvis, Mamie Lowe, Allie Switzer, and Hattie Huff performed instrumentals. Mollie Norton and teacher Mary White read essays. Edith McCornack, Daisy Seavey, and Florence Jarvis sang vocal solos. The program ended with a chorus.

Professor Glidden was the first principal of Mendocino High School. Hired in July 1893, his starting salary was $150 per month. He had spent the previous 5 years as principal of the Point Arena public school, where he was considered “a deserving and honored instructor of the young.”

For the summer and fall terms, Glidden was the only teacher, and high school classes were held at the early-day schoolhouse located near the northeast corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets. When the spring term began, classes moved into the newly constructed Mendocino High School building (torn down in 1948), and Miss Mary White joined the faculty. The high school curriculum at that time was a three-year course. Seven students graduated in 1896: Ernest Shibley, Dave McMurphy, Charles Hargrave, LeForest Philips, John Byrnes, Mabel Rainey, and Mabel Thomson.

Glidden was the principal at Mendocino High School until 1901, when he left to become principal of the high school in Fresno. Eventually, he relocated to Los Angeles where he taught for many years. He passed away in 1948 at the age of 99.

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.