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One of Lakeside's earliest schools was located in the Capitan Grande Canyon on land that is said to have been the site of an Indian village as far back as 1776. It was officially declared an Indian reservation in 1875, then in 1932 the Capitan Grande people were forced to vacate the canyon to make way for the City of San Diego's El Capitan Dam.

Unfortunately, there is no information about the Capitan Grande Indian School. The year it was built is unknown, but possibly in the 1880's or 1890's. There are no class rosters available to tell us about the students or the teachers, but the children from the neighboring Conejos band may have also attended this school. There are no survivors of the original Capitan Grande band to answer questions.

Below is an 1902 photo showing a group of young people and a dignified gentleman posed in a pleasant pastoral setting. It is captioned, "Unidentified Capitan Grande school teacher and classmates, 1902." 

Allene Savage remembers a long ago day in the '60's when she took her father, Joe Head, up to Julian in search of a school teacher he had known as a youngster. Joe had not attended the reservation school, but he had been born on an adjacent homestead and spent much time on the Capitan Grande as a boy and a young adult. The teacher he sought had worn a beard, and the children had been fascinated with the way it bobbed up and down when he spoke. Joe found the man's son and daughter-in-law living in a cozy home at the end of a rustic road, but the teacher had passed away. The man's name is forgotten now, but he may well have been the gentleman in the photo.

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