School at San Juan Capistrano

Click here to view it larger.


What it is:

Photo measuring approx 9.75 x 4 inches.


What I know about it:

Printed as part of the image is First and Second Grades / Miss Brown Teacher / School at San Juan Capistrano Cal. / Apr. 1916.  Otherwise no information.



I swung by the used bookstore near my apartment that has a basket of vintage photos.  (As if I need more photos.  Or more books, for that matter.)  I found a bunch I wanted, then, in an effort to be responsible, narrowed them down to three.  Here is the first one.  I’m not sure if this school is the one attached to the Mission, but I’m assuming it is.  The Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded November 1, 1776, the seventh of twenty-one missions in California.  It was founded when what is now California was a territory of Spain.  The area became part of Mexico in 1821, part of the United States in 1848, and an official state in 1850.  So by the time this photo was taken in 1916, the Mission had seen a lot of history.  The Mission is still there, of course, and it still has a school.  I don’t want to sound too judgmental about the effect the Mission’s evangelizing had on the local and Native populations, but I have to say, most of those kids don’t look too happy.

4 comments on “School at San Juan Capistrano”

  1. You’re right about them not being happy. I can only see one child who is smiling (boy at the back on right).

  2. Love the oversized bows in the hair of some of the girls. I remember my mother dressing me in oversize bows like that too, although it was a few years later than 1916.

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