Monte School District held their classes in the Clarence Foster home
until a school was constructed in 1915 on the south bank of the San
Diego River. One acre of land
was donated by the Bach Development Co. which had subdivided the El
opened September 1915 with 15 pupils, the number needed to meet the
state law. School opened with the minimum number of pupils allowed by
law by the early
entrance of Arthur Foster, who was not yet five years old. Some of the
first students included
Grace Wilkinson, Leda and Ruth Hartung (who came on their mules—Judy
Valois, Verna, Norma, Doris and Glen Melville; Art, Ruth, Dorothy, and
Hazel Foster; Augusta Vanoni; and Florence Lucille,
Irene and Frank Bogue. The first teacher was Laura L. Ehlers. The first
trustees were Clarence Foster, John W. Fetters and Mary Fetters.
school had been in operation less than four months when on January 13,
1916 the San Diego river changed its course and rampaged down the valley
taking several homes
and the new school house. It was washed away — and it was back to the
Clarence Foster living room.
from the San Diego Newspaper, January 27, 1916:
El Monte School House above Lakeside has vanished like a ghost in the night!
on the banks where the recent floods waters have receded, nor in the
brought this word today to the County Superintendent of Schools. Superintendent
West furnished a clue when he said he thought he had recognized
the roof of the School House in the river bed near Lakeside. Fetters
(Trustee) is of the opinion that the school house has disappeared by
into the loose, water-soaked earth. He
says an attempt will be made to dig or locate it, so that it can be dug
school is being held in the Clarence Foster home.
classes were again held in the Clarence Foster living room. Dorothy
was a pupil in the school and she recalls the first day she started to
school even though
she only had to walk around the porch to the front door — she was
late. Dorothy later
earned her teaching credentials and taught in the Lakeside District for
24 years, mostly in Kindergarten, until she retired 1974.
new school was built in 1917 by John W. Fetters on higher ground (five
acres) donated by John Wilkinson. The El Monte school building was
abandoned July 13, 1923 when
the El Monte School District united with the Lakeside Grammar School
the Lakeside Union School District was formed. The El Monte School
building was sold to John Wilkinson in 1936 and the land was deeded back
to him. The school house was
then remodeled into a private residence.