The Mason Street Schoolhouse, located in San Diego, California, is a historic gem that provides a glimpse into the educational system of the late 19th century. Built in 1865, the Schoolhouse is the first publicly owned school in San Diego County and the first public school in California.
As you step into the one-room, wood-frame structure, you are transported back in time to a simpler era. The ten-foot high ceiling, shingle roof, and pot-bellied iron stove create a cozy atmosphere, while the water bucket and dipper serve as a reminder of the limited indoor plumbing of the past. It’s hard to imagine all eight grades being taught in this single room, but that’s exactly what happened.
In 1873, the school was relocated to Taylor and Whitman Streets, where a two-story school was erected. However, this new building was later torn down, and the original Mason Street Schoolhouse was returned and reconstructed on its original site. The San Diego Historical Days Association operated the schoolhouse until 2013 when it was given to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Visitors to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park can now explore this historic landmark, learn about its history, and appreciate the sacrifices and achievements of early California settlers. Whether you’re a history buff, an educational enthusiast, or just looking for a unique experience, the Mason Street Schoolhouse is a must-visit destination.
So, take a journey back in time and visit the Mason Street Schoolhouse, California’s first public schoolhouse. Explore its rich history, appreciate its significance, and gain a new appreciation for the sacrifices and achievements of early California settlers.