Guide to the 1955 School Photos Collection (1955) – History

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Edwards Photography: Edwards Publishing Co. was incorporated April 5, 1893. Frank G. Edwards, President, was of San Francisco. He was born on the 26th of April, 1822. He died May sixth, 1900. Edwards took pictures of the Santa Cruz Mountains resorts between 1893 and 1900. The original directors of the company were: Directors, Frank G. Edwards, Ellen J. Edwards, Emily Carter, F. Ernest Edwards and Charles H. Forbes.

Branchiforte School: Was the main school in the Branchiforte area prior to Gault School being built in 1888. Was originally on the hill where Santa Cruz Hospital later occupied.

Gault School: Was originally opened in 1888. It was named for the respected Calvin Gault, who owned the land the school was constructed on. Prior to the school being built, many of the children of the area attended Branchiforte School. The school expanded in size over time, adding small buildings, and at one point (1914) teaching from tents as the school was too crowded. The school was officially expanded in the late 1920s in a project that rebuilt two other area schools.

Grant School: Was a hub for the community. Though it no longer exists, in its time, it was a location for voting in local elections and had a highly active baseball team.

Laurel School: The original Laurel School was erected in 1894 on the site of the original Flat School (that was built in 1878). A new Laurel School was built in the same place in 1930. The old school was demolished to create a larger building for the growing student population. The Parent Teachers Associate (P.T.A.) was established in 1912 and was the first unit of the P.T.A. in Santa Cruz.

Mission Hill School: The original school was built in 1876. In 1929 construction began on a new Mission Hill School in a different location. In that year three schools were rebuilt: Mission Hill, Laurel, and Gault. The cornerstone of the new Mission Hill School was a large marble block that contains all of the available data about the history of the school district and the history of the erection of the three new schools.