On August 26, 1868, 150 years ago, the Manzanita School District was formed; the oldest known continuously enrolled school in Butte County. This newly-formed district was previously part of a district called the Live Oak District, having a school located on the Ord Ranch Road. The first one-room school building was built five years later at Larkin Road and Evans-Reimer Road, Gridley, in 1873. Another room was built in 1908. The school received its name because children had to wind their way to school through the Manzanita thickets that covered much of the area. Manzanita is no longer found in this area.
This first school was used until 1915, at which time a second larger building was built in the same location, surrounded by a beautiful grove of Oak trees. The architecture was much improved with an interesting style of arches and a bell tower. Some of the Oak trees from the early schools, still shade large areas of the school today. Many changes have been made in the present-day location of the buildings, including the addition of a large multi-purpose gym, which also houses a stage and library. Relocatable buildings have also been added as the pk-8th grade enrollment has continued to increase. One area has never changed--a goal of quality education has always stayed the same for 150 years.
The Sesquicentennial kick off will be during the Fall Festival on Saturday, October 13th. The BBQ chicken dinner runs from 4:30 until 7 p.m., at which time there will be a presentation in the gym to highlight the 150 year celebration. Manzanita alumni are encouraged to visit the school during the year and share their memories that will add to the rich history that has always been a part of the school. A culminating event is being planned for May of 2019. Watch for additional information about the Fall Festival and Sesquicentennial activities throughout the school year.