Encinitas’ Oldest Building: The Schoolhouse from 1883

    With the arrival of English immigrants, Edward and Jane Hammond and their seven children in 1883, the town’s population soared to twenty two. Encinitas still lacked a school at that time, but since the $600 bond had already been approved, Edward Hammond and his son Ted immediately set about building a schoolhouse large enough to accommodate eight grades and one teacher. It is a frontier era’s Classic Revival building of shiplap siding. It shows it’s age through the presence of handmade square nails. The floor of the Schoolhouse is still the original! Its made from Fir that came down from Oregon in the late 1880’s. Originally the school faced eastward toward downtown. In 1883 the newly-built one-room schoolhouse was home to the town’s entire population of school age children – all eight of them Girls had to wear shoes and boys had to be barefoot except on Sundays.

    As the town grew, and other schools opened up, the one-room building fell into disuse. By 1928 it had been relocated to Fourth and H Streets, where it served as a private residence for over half a century. But as the 1980’s dawned and real estate prices began to boom, the crumbling schoolhouse was slated for demolition.

    Happily, after a sustained and passionate effort by the newly-formed Encinitas Historical Society, the Old Schoolhouse was successfully moved back to its original site, but faced South instead of the original East. The landmark is the oldest building in Encinitas.

    Those interested can now visit the schoolhouse Friday and Saturday from 1-4. It is free to enter. Walk across the original wood floor and imagine yourself back in 1883.

    1883 school house today The School House as it stands today.

    1883_school_house_kidsStudents and teacher pose in front of the Schoolhouse in an undated photo.

    encinitas school house overview shotToday the Schoolhouse is located behind 185 Union Street, 2 blocks West of Coast Highway.

    old_encinitas_beach_goers Encinitas beaches have long drawn crowds to its sandy shores. The fashion has changed a bit however.


    Collage of photos from Encinitas and surrounding area. Top left corner is the train depot which is now the Pannikin Tea House on Coast Highway. Top left is an apple orchard that was on Coast Highway and is since gone. The middle left photo is of Moonlight Beach and middle right photo is the dam at Lake Hodges. The introduction of a water source changed the history of Encinitas drastically; the population and agriculture of the area grew exponentially as a result. The bottom left photo is long gone Encinitas Garage. Bottom right is the Encinitas Ball Team of 1912.

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