Historic Lassen County Schools


Terms and Vocabulary:

The first settlers of Lassen County taught their children at thome. As the area grew, private schools were run by prominent citizens. Students supplies all their own materials and did their lessons on slateboards.

Students typically enjoyed the following activities in their free time: jacks, ice-skating, baseball, tag, hopscotch, blind-man's-bluff, in-and-out-the-window, and football.

Teachers usually boarded with a local family and did theor own custodial work such as sweeping the floors, filling gas or coal lanterns, bringing in wood for the woodstove, and water from a nearby well or other source.

Children went to school from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. They had two fifteen-minute recesses and a full hour to eat lunch. School was in session nine months of the year with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Easter off. Students were also excused if necessary during planting and harvesting times.

Desks were made of wood and iron. Two students sat at each desk. Students studied physiology, astronomy, bookkeeping, reading, word analysis, writing, mathematics, grammar, geography, history, spelling, algebra, and geometry. Students were not issued graded, but either passed or failed based on examinations. As discipline, teachers used either a leather strap, a switch, or a board.

Girls almost always wore dresses. However, when riding horses to school they might wear overalls over their dresses until they arrived at school. Boys wore overalls or pants and shirts. To get to school most students walked, but other rode horses, drove carts, or skied in the winter.

The first school districts were organized in June, 1864. There were: Susanville, Richmond, Susan River, Janesville, Long Valley, and Lake School Districts. Richmond, establisted in 1865, is the oldest school district still in operation.

Information presented on this page was researched and contributed by:

Holly Azevado
Marilyn Chapman
Heather Cluck