Grammar School

Murphys Grammar School holds the distinction of being California’s oldest school building in continuous use as a school. The structure was built in 1860 on land donated by Dr. Jones, some of the work contributed by local residents, with the final cost coming to $4,000. The building is forty by sixty feet and has two rooms, the back room being enlarged at some later date. When the school was first constructed there were no trees on the hill, so the school board transplanted a number of pines that still shade the surrounding playground, and which prompted the students to call their school the “Pine Grove College.” A former student of the Murphys school was Dr. Albert Michelson who lived here as a boy when his father ran a clothing store. Michelson won America’s first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1907 for his work in determining the velocity of light, which later aided Einstein’s development of his relativity theories. It is located at the top of the hill on Jones Street.

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