LOCAL HISTORY PROJECT

Elementary School Series 1
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This is a picture of the Pleasant Vale School, which was located on the site occupied by Sierra Elementary School today. The picture is wrongly labeled "Millerton" because the photographer made a mistake. This picture does resemble Millerton School but careful inspection shows it is Pleasant Vale. The school served the area of Tollhouse and about four miles around the school. The name remained Pleasant Vale until the 1930's, when it joined several other small schools and became SES.

circa: 1900

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Students at Pleasant Vale School seated on the steps of the building, showing school population plus the teacher, Mrs. Lorena Brewer. Tollhouse Road winds toward Tollhouse in the background. In the background right is the well-house where students dipped water out of a bucket to drink. The boy in the front row with the fancy hat is Max Yancey. Seated on the second row from the top left is Ed Bretz, same row right is his brother Frank. Top left is John Humphrey, Junior. Others are unidentified.

circa: 1887

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Students at Pleasant Vale in front of the school. Note the steps come down the side. Teacher is unidentified as are most of the students. The tall boy to the teacher's left is John Humphreys, Jr., Max Yancey is the boy with the fancy hat, front row. This is looking west toward the building. The steps were changed to come down the front about 1890. School districts were very small because all the students had to walk or ride wagons or horses to school, no buses.

circa: 1886

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The total school population at Pleasant Vale School standing on the front steps of the building. Identifiable students are John Humphreys, Jr., standing next to the teacher, top right. The Bretz brothers, Frank and Ed, are 2nd and 3rd from the left, back row. Second from the left, front row, is a abnormally short girl. By the description of her times, she was identified as a "hunchback". She was related to the Yanceys of Tollhouse and according to the story, lived a normal life and had a family.

circa: 1891

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The "hunchback" relative of the Yanceys taken on graduation day from Pleasant Vale School. The picture is taken in front of the Tollhouse Hotel. Note the shadow of the photographer in the right of the photo.

circa: 1896

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Clarence and Viola Salter taken at Pleasant Vale School. They are in front of the building. Looking east is the well and Tollhouse Peak in the background. The Pleasant Vale building sat on the site later occupied by Sierra Elementary's bus garage which has been replaced by a parking lot today. The building was also about 100 feet behind Rod Riggs old cabin site, later the site of the Jostrum house. Today that site is part of the Sierra Elementary entrance and parking lot.

circa: 1911

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Pledging allegiance at Pleasant Vale School. Looking east is the well house and Tollhouse Road. The girl in the front, 2nd from the left is Dorothy Yancey Poling, daughter of Max Yancey, who donated the picture. Why the students in the back are standing on stilts is anyone's guess.

circa: 1915

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Dancing around the May Pole at Pleasant Vale School. Looking east the well house and Tollhouse Peak are visible. The girl to the right of the "X" in the picture is Dorothy Yancey Poling. The May Pole is a lost celebration as far as today"s students are concerned.

circa: 1917

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In the 1930's, several small schools joined together to create the Sierra Union Elementary District. This is a picture of the new Sierra Union building, which replaced the Pleasant Vale building. The name Pleasant Vale disappeared from local school history. The new structure had two rooms in the same building and had indoor bathroom facilities. It sat closer to Tollhouse Road than the old Pleasant Vale building and was slightly to the south as well.

circa: 1935

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The new Sierra Union building which replaced the old Pleasant Vale building. The schools which joined together to occupy the new district were: Sentinel from Morgan Canyon, Manzanita from Lodge Road, Mechanicsville from Humphreys Station, Hawkins from Watts Valley, and Pine Grove from the Kings River. Mountain View School from Burrough Valley joined a few years later.

circa: 1935

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This project was designed and created by
Bud Olson and Dan Resciniti
©1998-2001