The Altaville Grammar School

The Altaville Grammar School was erected in 1858, which makes it one of the oldest grammar schools in California. Built of brick manufactured in a local kiln, the building measures twenty-four feet wide by thirty-six feet long. The land upon which the school originally stood was donated by M. D. Harmon. Most of the funds required to build the school were raised at a dance held in the billiard room of the Prince & Garibardi building, with the furnishings being financed by various social events in the community. An item in the San Andreas Independent of January 8, 1859, notes: "The new schoolhouse is nearly completed. It stands upon a beautiful natural eminence and presents quite a pleasing ornament as well as a useful appendage to the town." It remained in use until 1950. Left alone and abandoned, the building was on the verge of collapse when, in 1981, a campaign was launched to save the historic structure. The Calaveras County Historical Society spearheaded the project, and along with the County of Calaveras, Angels Camp, and local citizenry, helped to raise $28,000 to restore and move the school to its present site near Hwy 49. The 90-ton building was moved in December of 1983, and in 1989 the final restoration was completed. The historical society currently maintains the structure, whose front portion is generally open, allowing visitors a look at the typical schoolroom of the last century.