As the town of Lancaster grew, so did the school population. An impressive two-story red brick structure, complete with a bell tower, was constructed on the south side of 10th Street between Beech and Cedar Avenue, across the street from the Gillwyn Hotel (present-day Western Hotel Museum). This became Lancaster Grammar School and was occupied in early 1890.
Built for $3,950 by local builder and brick-maker, O.B. Allen, the school became the hub of the community with Sunday church services, dances, Christmas pageants, elections, political meetings, town hall meetings, plays, picnics, and assorted social gatherings.
By 1911, there were four teachers and 100 pupils; therefore, another new school was needed. A future school was to be built on Cedar Avenue, and the building was used for many different purposes, including a temporary high school (1914-15), the Chamber of Commerce, a library, and a Masonic Hall.
In 1933, a major earthquake hit Long Beach. The Lancaster Grammar school became heavily damaged and in 1934, this piece of Lancaster’s history was demolished.
The new Lancaster Grammar School was completed in 1914 on Cedar Avenue. The school was eventually torn down in the 1950s, aside from the north wing and the auditorium, which the school district still uses today as a warehouse. It was also within the auditorium that Mrs. Mollie Bloom Flagg organized the Lancaster Woman’s Club in 1922. She served as its first president, and by 1929, there were approximately forty members.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections