Laguna School

The Laguna School building is located at the intersection of Felter and Calaveras Roads. The school was established in February 1865 to serve the families of ranchers in the Laguna Valley. The original trustees were J. S. Dooley, Hiram Pomeroy, and W. S. Gaines.

Apparently, the school went through some economic hard times. The San Jose Mercury noted in May 1866 that the school was $3.86 in “the red,” unlike most of the other schools in the county. At some point, perhaps in the 1880s, the school was enlarged by adding a cloak room onto the front façade.

Teachers who worked at Laguna School in the 1880s included Rosalie O’Brian, P. Henning, Emma Watkins, George Kraft, T. W. Whitehurst, and Stella Herndon. The trustees included J.W. Greenfield, Alfred Felter (for whom the road is named), H. H. Flagg, and Michael Hughes. This Michael Hughes may have been the same person credited with building the first frame house in Milpitas in 1852.

In 1943, the school was closed when enrollment dropped below the required five students. Naomi Pinard was the last teacher.

Laguna School in the 1970’s
Laguna School: Photo courtesy of Bill Hare
In 1949, local rancher Mildred Beans purchased the Laguna School for $575.

Mrs. Beans modified the building to use it as a barn, a use that was continued by subsequent owners until 2000.

The school was threatened with demolition in 2000. In an attempt to save it, the Milpitas Historical Society initiated an effort to relocate the building. However, the new owners, Bill and Jennie Hare, decided to not demolish the building and expressed an interest in its restoration.
by mhs, March 2011