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Early Lancaster Grammar Schools

In 1884, school classes were held in the Fuller apartment buildings. The first official school building was opened in the fall of 1885, located in a small house near the northwest corner of Antelope Avenue (present-day Sierra Highway) and Eleventh Street (present-day Milling Street). At this time, the school hosted 14 pupils. The first teacher was Miss Maria Parmalee.

In 1890, the second grammar school was built on Tenth Street (present-day Lancaster Boulevard), just across the road from The Gilwyn Hotel (later the Western Hotel). This brick building was constructed using locally-burned brick, made in a kiln not far from the town. The total cost of the construction is reportedly $3,950, built by a local construction worker and brick-maker O.B. Allen. One of the first teachers at this new location was Miss Ford. After sustaining damage from a major earthquake in 1933, the town demolished the school building in 1934.

With the community constantly growing, the small brick school constructed in 1890 could barely accommodate everyone. By 1911, there were reportedly four teachers and roughly 100 students. This prompted the planning for the construction of a larger grammar school.

In 1913, local residents voted for the construction of a new grammar school building which was to be built on Cedar Avenue. This building would become host to many of Lancaster’s early cultural events, held in the third-floor auditorium. The third Lancaster grammar school was completed in 1914. This building was torn down in the 1950s, aside from the north wing and auditorium

"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.

Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"


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