On this day in Mendocino history…

Mendocino Schoolroom Interior, c. 1879. It may be the school in the old Presbyterian Church. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

June 27, 1868 – The School Board voted to acquire the old Mendocino Presbyterian Church on the northeast corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets to convert into a district school house. This building became available when the Presbyterian Church on Main Street was completed, and the congregation moved to the new church building on July 5, 1868.

The community had outgrown the 1862 schoolhouse, which was located on Ukiah Street just east of the old church building. The school expanded into the church building on the corner, while some students continued in the original school.

In 1874, the first school building was moved closer to the old church, and the buildings were combined to form a larger schoolhouse. In May 1879, the school term opened with a new principal, C. C. Hamilton, and 46 pupils were enrolled.

In 1885, public school students moved to the new school building on the northeast corner of School and Pine Streets. For the next few years, the old schoolhouse was used for a variety of purposes: parties and festivals, school trustee elections, Methodist Episcopal church services, and private school lessons.

In 1893, the schoolhouse at the Lansing and Ukiah intersection temporarily became the home of the first Mendocino high school. Classes were held there until the new high school building on the hill was completed.

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