History Of Center Unified School
District Time Line
- JG Gould, who later served on Board of Trustees, settled
on his ranch near the Placer-Sacramento Cos. Line
- A petition found by Austin Hunt describes School District
No.2 in Center Township which became "Center School District".
We can assume a school was built April 7.
- Boundaries of the school district were the north half
of the Center Township. A census was taken by Mr..
Dyer from Rocklin to the Sacramento River.
The census showed a need for the school.
- The union District of Placer County was established
in the area of Mr. Dyer's census. JG Gould, Dyer
and J. Williams were the first trustees. Mr. Gould
was the first clerk. Miss Howe was the teacher.
- Elisha Driver began serving on the Center District
school Board of Trustees until his death in 1913.
- The first school has one room. There were
4-20 students who attended year-round. The fluctuation
in attendance was because the older students were needed on
their farms and ranches during harvest.
- County Superintendent's records contain a petition
to transfer JJ Williams' Ranch from the Lincoln to the Center
School District. The boundaries were changed in
1872. The Lincoln School District was the old Lincoln-Elverta
School, founded in 1855 It used to stand on the
corner of Elverta and Elwyn Ave.
- Abram Keithly was the clerk of the Board of Trustees.
He served on the Board for 45 years.
- Center School was "thoroughly repaired".
This leads us to believe that the school (located at the present
Mcclellan High School site was quite old already.
- Student Stats. 11 Boys & 6 Girls
- Teacher: Mr. E. Panabaker
- Clerk of Union District board - OJ Gould
- The Union District of Placer Co. and the Center District
of Sacramento Co. shared the responsibilities of the school.
The Union board of Trustees paid the bills and managed the affairs
from August to January, and the Center Board from February to
July. Students Attended school year-round.
- A page out of Elisha Driver's personal journal dated
1883, shows the purchase of land for school purposes, the fence
to be maintained by both districts.
- 1886 Aurthur Gould, Grandson of JG Gould, went to
school at Center. It was a one-room school located
at the present Mcclellan High School site. His father
went to this same school. The teacher was Miss Lillie
Cross. The building was worth about $900.
The teacher taught grades 1-8th for $900 a year.
- A 12' X 24' addition was build onto the old school
building to accommodate the definite 17 students.
- Clerk of the Board for the Union District - C.A. Hines
- The foundation was laid for a new school.
The old building was pulled away, and a new 24' X 36' section
was added. The one-room was now 24' X 48'.
52 Students now attended.
- The first school was used for storage.
- Mr A Keithly, clerk of the Board of Trustees, bought
our bell. It was an old church bell and weighs 700
lbs.. The bell may be the oldest in the Sacramento
- A 12' addition was built on to the from of the school
for a belfry.
- Aurthur Gould, in a 1961 article in the Sacramento
Bee , said the bell was so heavy that when it was rung, the
whole building would shake. Therefore the bell was
not used to call children to school. They were afraid
it would "come through the roof".
- Mel A. Driver went to school at Center in 1910.
He remembered the bell calling he and the other children to
school. Maybe they fixed it somehow.
- John R. Dyer - Clerk of the Board of Trustees, Union
- Charles A. Driver on the Center Board.
He served for 30 years. His father, Elisha was still
on the Board. They served together until 1908.
- Placer County School Office records show Center and
Union District's attendance together.
1908 (Feb 7)
- Center District (Sacramento Co.) and Union School
District (Placer Co.) consolidated to form the Center Joint
- The new Board - A Keithly, E Driver, and A.D. Gould.
- The name Center was chosen because of its central
location between Rocklin and Sacramento.
- Melville A. Driver began school at Center.
His teacher was Miss Fletcher. They went barefoot
and in overalls most of the time. Each morning,
they started off with the Flag Salute, then they would line
up and march into class. They used the McGuffey
Readers. They would go up by class to a bench in
the front where the teacher would give them their assignments.
There was a lot of memory work. They read aloud every
- CA Driver returned to the School Board after E Driver
passed away. He served until 1933. While
Mel A. Driver was attending Center, our school along with several
others from our area, took the train to San Francisco to the
Pan Pacific Exposition. He remembers the wonderful
Panama Canal Exhibit with working gates and ships, all in miniature.
- Center Joint School was the School Auxiliary of the
Roseville Chapter of the Red Cross.
- During the time CA Driver was serving on the Board,
there were battles over annexing Center to the Roseville School
District. The school would have been moved into
town, and the children bussed to school. Driver
and others fought the idea and Center stayed here.
- Teacher Mrs.. McIntosh "A nice lady and I enjoyed
her classes very much" - Richard Berger
- Description Of The Second School House - This was
the building built in 1896 with the 12 foot addition for a belfry.
It was white framed building with a red-shingled roof, and the
belfry was on the front end. The first school stood
behind it, and was probably used as storage. There
was one room with a library under the belfry. There
was a piano, desks, chairs, and an old-fashioned stove for heat.
Outside was a horse and buggy stable, windmill with a horse
trough for the farmers to use on their way to Sacramento, and
a tank house. There was a large yard with baseball
diamonds, many trees, see-saws, swing and action bars.
- In the early 1900's, our students that wanted to go
to High School , had to go to Sacramento High School.
Some stayed in town all week, coming home only on weekends and
holidays. Later, many took the N. Electric train
into town each day.The $5.00 monthly train pass was reimbursed
by the state.
- The second school house was replaced by Center Joint
School - a red brick and plaster building, built in the style
of the old west.
- The first old school building was purchased by Eric
Carlson and Axel Anderson. They moved it 9 miles
to their new ranch near the Sacramento River. It
was used as a Garage, ship and granary.
- Sometime during this time, the bell was taken down.
It was found later in a barn.
- This third school stood where the Mcclellan cafeteria
- Description Of The Third School House This description
is in "Two Months on a Ranch" by Richard Berger, based on the
journals he kept while staying with his uncle, Gus Lindgren,
on the Kasser Brothers Ranch, a 640 acre grain, almond, grapes,
and chicken ranch located on both sides of what is now Kaser
Rd. The school was red brick "and very pretty".
Inside were boys and girls dressing rooms, library, small kitched
telephone booth, stage, and a fairly large auditorium which
was also the classroom. It had modern furniture
and steam heat, office, and two large hallways.
- The bell was found, and they hung it on a 15' tower
on the Gould Ranch. The Gould Ranch was a listening
post, and the bell would have been used to warn our community
of an air raid..
- Cyril Spinelli began serving on the School Board,
and continues until he and his family moved in 1963.
For his years of dedication and service, he was declared an
honorary life member of the Board - June 4, 1963
- The Bell was taken down and placed under an old walnut
tree on the Gould Ranch.
- Center Joint has 2 classes. One met in
the large hallway, and the other in the auditorium.
- Aurthur Dudley School was built to accommodate the
new McClellan-Capehart housing. The student population
of some 300 soon rose of over 700 to take in the Center students
while Center was being built. The Brick Center Joint was
- Arthur Dudley has contributed much to the Sacramento
area since 1920. He served as the Secretary of the
Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. He is often called
the "Father of McClellan" because of his involvement in bringing
the Air Force Base to our area.
- Center Elementary was near completion.
Four rooms were ready for the 1-3rd grades. This
relieved some of the overcrowding at Dudley.
- The bell was brought back by Cyril Spinelli. A monument
was built for the bell in the Center Elementary school yard.
- Melville E. Driver was on the Board until 1985.
A Driver has been on the Board for 94 years.
- Cyril Spinelli School built - Two attempts were made
to unify Center Joint with the Roseville High School District.
It was defeated both times.
- Center Joint became an Early Childhood Education Center.
The k-3rd graders from Dudley and Center Elementary went to
Center Elementary, and the 4-6th graders went to Dudley.
The ECE was the early beginnings of the SIP program.
Mr. Tom Wright was very instrumental in its development.
- District's first Instructional Aids and Parent Volunteers
were used in the ECE program.
- Later, Spinelli also started an ECE program.
- Center Joint became a Junior High School
- An election as held to vote on unifying the district
to include K-12 grades. We are now the Center Unified
- The district kept the 9th graders and subsequently
adds a class each year thereafter.
- The new Center Junior High School was completed and
temporarily occupied by 9-10 grades.
- The New Center High School was partially finished.
- Students occupied a portion of the campus while construction
- Center Joint School became Center Elementary School
- The first senior class graduated from Center High
- 130th Anniversary