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Sesquicentennial Celebration Planned for Richmond School

Richmond Schools original schoolhouse and outhouse with Diamond Mountain in the background. ~photo provided by Richmond School
Richmond School’s original schoolhouse and outhouse with Diamond Mountain in the background.
~photo provided by Richmond School~

150 years is a long time, and Richmond School will celebrate its sesquicentennial with fanfare and pomp on Wednesday, April 30th at an observance in the school’s auditorium.

“We are encouraging all past staff and board members to please come and be a part of our celebration,” said Richmond Principal Vicky Leitaker, “All grade levels will be performing.”

According to Leitaker, from 1859 to 1862 Richmond, the first town in what would become Lassen County thrived. Gold had been discovered at the base of Diamond Peak in 1856 and Frank Drake built a hotel and store in 1859 and named the area Richmond.

Located at the end of the Diamond Mountain trail, Richmond became a gathering place and soon afterwards had a bowling alley, a wagon shop, a saloon, a blacksmith’s shop and even a newspaper. The town of Richmond also had the first Fraternal Organization in Lassen County, the Masonic Lodge 149.

The town may not have been destined to last, but the Richmond School District, formed in the fall of 1864 is still going strong 150 years later.

At first, students were housed in the Shaffer Warehouse. The original school house, which is now part of a residence on Richmond Road, was built in 1865 through donations sought by Margaret Streshly and Mary J. Drake. This building housed students for 101 years until the school moved to the current site in April of 1966.

As the longest, continuously operated school in Lassen County, it has impressively served students each year since the 1864/65 school year, except for a few months in 1916.

The event will begin at 7:00 on April 30th in the Sandra L. Pearson Auditorium.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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