The first high school in West Fall Brook opened its doors in 1893, making it the second oldest high school in San Diego County.
The building was a two-story wood frame building, located at Elder Street and Hill Street (Now Mission). The high school students were on the second floor and the elementary school on the ground floor. This way the older students were separated from the younger ones.
In 1912 a new site for the Fallbrook High School was obtained on the side hill located east and south of Iowa Street and Ivy Street. A $20,000, 20-year bond was approved by the voters of Fallbrook. The graduating class of eight students proved that they could overcome any superstition as the year 1913 along with the graduating exercises being held on Friday, June 13 did not dampen the excitement of receiving their diplomas.
In September 1914 the Fallbrook Union High School opened its doors to 30 students and 4 faculty members on the Ivy Street Campus.
The enrollment increased through the years and with little or no money available during the depression years Fallbrook School turned to the Federal Government for help. They were able to obtain a W.P.A. Grant to build a gymnasium, swimming pool, model home for home economics and a softball field. This was an ideal facility for the enrollment was approximately 200 students. The spring graduation ceremony was conducted in the gymnasium with the graduates on stage and family and friends seated comfortably on the main floor. The building is still being used today by the Fallbrook Boys & Girls Club.
"Potter Hall" named after their beloved Superintendent James E. Potter was used by the entire community as Town Hall, and for many other activities. There was a town baseball team that played on weekends, the little league baseball played on the softball diamond, and adult softball leagues played at night. In the summer the swimming pool was open to the general public.
There was complete support from the community for the schools. In the summer and fall of 1947 members of the community raised money and donated their time, labor and skills to install lights for the football field and softball diamond. This was a joint project to which the high school kids took pride in their school and responded with a championship football team that year.
In 1948, the State of California declared that the main school building did not meet the earthquake standards and it was condemned. It was replaced with a new building on the same campus during the summer of 1949.
Things went well until the middle 1950s when overcrowding became a problem and it was determined that the Ivy Street facility would not be suitable for the growing needs of the high school. A search for a new location was undertaken. In 1947 the ranch of Tom and Maie Ellis on Stage Coach Lane and South Mission was selected for the new site for F.U.H.S.
The school year opened to an unfinished facility in the fall of 1957. It was necessary to utilize the "old" football field and gymnasium during the 1957-58 school year.
Today, Fallbrook Union High School is in the middle of the largest, most costly renovation projection in its history in an effort to accommodate the ever-increasing enrollment.
Fallbrook Historical Society
Fallbrook, CA Area Information: History
Elizabeth Yamaguchi's Writings On Fallbrook History
Copyright © 1998-1999 by Fallbrook Historical Society
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Comments and feedback: Don and Mary Rivers
Last update: 23 January 1999.