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..Riverview Union High School District

June 7, 1892, trustees of the Lakeside School District wrote the following letter to Mr. A. W. Gilbert, El Cajon.

“We the Undersigned trustees of the Lakeside School District, hereby signify our approval of the addition of the El Capitan, Dehesa, Alpine, Centre, Cowles, El Cajon, Jamacha, Spring Valley, and La Mesa School Districts to the new High School district that we have already petitioned for.”

George A. Doyle
Edward. C. Carpenter


Trustees of the Lakeside, Meridian and Cowles (Santee) School Districts met at the Lakeside Hotel in 1893 and decided the Union High School would be located at the Meridian School in the Bostonia area.

Students who attended Meridian High School rode horseback back then or drove to school in a horse and buggy. Mr. Charles Lucas says he walked and ran as he was on the track team. For a few, it was easier to ride the 6:15 A.M. train into San Diego and attend the high school but in 1915 San Diego High School ruled outsiders could no longer attend.

In 1916 Mrs. Johnson of the peach ranch on Palm Row and Mrs. Weston, mother of Mr. Claude Weston the dairyman, were successful in their efforts to establish a high school in Lakeside. Lakeside withdrew from the Meridian High School District and established its own school.  

Riverview High School

Lakeside did have a high school prior to Riverview Union High School. The second floor room of the Lakeside Store in the Klauber-Wagenheim building was used for the first high school classes. This building stood on the southwest comer of Maine and Sycamore (Lakeshore). Rent for the Ross Hall was $12.50 per month. Alice Gibson, our first high school teacher, taught here and later taught at Riverview Union High School. Students entered the upper floor of the store building in Lakeside and dreamed of their longed-for new school building.

Information about Riverview Union High School has been obtained from the Board of Trustees minutes. Board members were: Judge S. G. Roberts as Board President, Charles J. Ferris as Clerk, Arthur Bertram Foster, D. H. Ehlers, and Howard L. Weston. In 1916, the August 16th meeting minutes indicate that after months of study and research by Architect Theodore C. Kistner to develop the "finest plans for the new school," the school plans were changed to allow construction of a middle intermediate school between the main building and the manual arts building.

Prior to the school being constructed, Mr. Elmer Lawrence was hired at a salary of $50 per month to be the janitor and laborer for the buildings and grounds. In 1916, the September 23rd meeting had considerable discussion relative to equipping the school with a working library, and it was ordered by unanimous vote that $100 of the amount appropriated funds for the library, maps, charts, etc. be sent to the county librarian to secure the use of a liberal number of books. Considerable discussion was also given to purchasing one large dictionary.

At the September 30, 1916 meeting it was ordered that Prof. Adams, Principal, be asked to ascertain the ruling regarding night schools, and if possible to arrange that all except room, light and heat be furnished by the state and the county. In a 1917 circular it was stated that “Riverview was conspicuous last year in having the only night school in the state and the attendance was greater than that in the day school - a total enrollment of over 50.” The high school building was called very commodious consisting of ample classrooms, a large assembly with such added equipment as rest rooms, shower baths, projection and slide and film pictures. Business arithmetic and farm bookkeeping suited the needs of most of the students. Spanish, French, free hand and mechanical drawing, wood and iron work, classes in cooking, sewing, basketry and weaving were also offered. A one-night a week the poultry club was offered which included lectures by successful poultry men and women, as well as illustrated talks upon the essentials of the business, supplementing the far more valuable round-table discussions. The circular also stated that “Should this prove sufficiently interesting, other classes may be formed along dairy lines, including illustrative talks upon the butter fat and bacilli tests, who gets the best returns for the money invested and why. ”

"Lakeside Celebration Promises to be Greatest Ever Held in Back Country"

In 1917-1918 Riverview Union High School was built on Woodside Avenue where the Lakeside Junior High School, and now the Lakeside Middle School is located. The building alone cost nearly $25,000 and the cost of equipment was $5,000. In addition five acres of land and Lot 66 were donated by the El Monte Land Company through George J. Bach, President. The district bought another five acres for agricultural purposes, paying $1,000. Therefore, it represents an expenditure of more than $30,000. San Diego Hardware Company (which is still in existence in San Diego in 2011) was given the contract to furnish the finishing hardware for the school.

The High School Board requested the contractor to furnish the new green chalkboards in the place of slate blackboards. Bills presented included a request for $26.88 for four days of grading on school grounds, and $4.12 for a day’s labor on a school lot. Teachers were paid $1000 for one year’s work. An Underwood typewriter cost $4.00, seventy-eight desks and baskets cost $671.31, and Wallace Phillips was paid $65.00 to build a tent house for the science classes. The minutes of the Board of Trustees give an insight into allocating of funds for the building of the early school. Laws, a student, addressed the school board in the interest of the High School Baseball Club asking for ½ dozen league balls, showing that by a larger order, a better discount might be had. President Roberts consented to an order.

The spring of 1918 the new school was dedicated. Students attending the high school from La Mesa and Lemon Grove area rode the train to the Riverview Station in the community of Riverview Farms. Students did not come from El Cajon because they had their own high school. The first social affair at Riverview was a Halloween masquerade party at the Lakeside Hall, After a most enjoyable evening, which extended to the “wee small hours,” the students were declared the “best of hosts.” During the May 31, 1918, board meeting a motion was made by member Laws that the suspension of Elmer Dort by the principal be sustained by the board. The motion was not carried. Another motion was made by member Luscomb that the hearing be postponed until the June 6th meeting; Motion not carried. But at the June 7tth meeting a resolution was passed by the board that: “Whereas, Elmer Dort has filed two letters of apology with one to E. G. Adams and one to Miss Mclever; and whereas he has made a personal appeal to the board promising to do better in the future.” The board unanimously voted his reinstatement. Dean Norton of Pomona College was paid $15 for his transportation costs and foods to address the 1918 graduating class. The four year courses of study that were offered included courses in Latin, Natural Science, Engineering, Agricultural, English, and a commercial course.

Edward G. Adams was replaced by Percy R. Davis as Principal for the school year 1918-19. On March 5, 1919, Principal Davis submitted a request for a leave of absence to join the United States Army. The next year, L. W. Holland replaced Davis as principal then the following year Carl N. Vance replaced Holland.

After four years in the Riverview Farms location, Grossmont High School was built at the Grossmont Summit on land donated by Col. Ed Fletcher. Rock from two quarries owned by Col. Fletcher was donated for the building of the school with the stipulation that the district collects the rock and transports it to the Grossmont site. In the fall of 1922 classes were moved to the Grossmont site.

The Lakeside Union Grammar School District bought the Riverview Union High School building and six acres of land for $8,000. The 150 students in Second School transferred to the Riverview Union High School building, their new school, which was now named Lakeside Union Grammar School.

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