The Orange Unified School District has slated Silverado Elementary School for closure, and the locals are fighting it. Although the school has been moved and rebuilt over the years, the school traces its roots back a long, long way.
The town of Silverado was formed when silver was discovered in the area in 1878 - eleven years before the County of Orange was formed. The inset photo at right shows an old mining cart that sits in front of the school today.
The Silverado School District was founded in 1881. According to Phil Brigandi, the district "lapsed in 1907, but was re-established in 1916." The photo immediately below shows all the students of Silverado Elementary School in 1919. The students (L to R) are Evelyn Schulz, Joseph Holtz, Henry Mayer, Walter Johnson, Judd Miller, Evelyn Johnson, Vernon Schulz, Alban Holtz, Dorothy Mauerhan, Ray Mauerhan, Alice Schulz, Charles Miller, Ray Johnson, Margaret Holtz and Florence Schulz. (The names came from Silverado Canyon by Susan Deering.) Notice that for 15 students, there were only six surnames.
Originally, the school began as a small building that was moved back and forth between Silverado and Modjeska Canyons - wherever the most students lived at any given time. In 1903 the little building landed for good on Silverado Canyon Rd. and became the Silverado School. In time, three rooms were added to the original one-room schoolhouse.
The photo at the top of today's post shows the school as it appeared in the 1930s. During the Depression, the WPA expanded the school and gave it a Mission/Deco facade. In 1953 the school joined the new Orange Unified School District, and in 1957 the building was replaced with a modern 6-room school.
This last photo shows the school's students in the 1930s. All the black and white photos in today's post came from SaveSilveradoElementary.blogspot.com.