A little history…
Alamos Elementary School was named for the one-room schoolhouse that served French Valley for much of the 20th century.
When it opened in August 2004, Alamos Elementary welcomed over 500 students, a far cry from its namesake. Beginning about 1900, children from the handful of families that farmed the region attended the Alamos School from kindergarten through the eighth grade. The Hemet Unified School District closed the school, located at the southwest corner of Benton and Pourroy roads, when enrollment fell below 10 students in 1969. Many kids rode their horses to school and were taught by Mrs. Dore Fjeld, who taught there from 1930 until 1967.
The Alamos School was moved down the road to Lake Skinner in 1977 as part of a project designed to showcase early rural California life. Money for that project fell through and the schoolhouse sat empty for several decades.
In 1998, a restoration project was begun and these days the original Alamos School serves as a wildlife education center at the county-run nature reserve. Two miles south of the original school site is the new Alamos Elementary School that opened on August 24, 2004.
Excerpts from John Hunneman’s column in
The Californian dated February 5, 2004.