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Alameda County - Rosedale School

The following is contributed to the Archives by Margaret Wells.  Rosedale School was located in what is now the Sunol Wilderness Area of the East Bay Regional Parks.  Margaret has transcribed some letters to the editor of The Independent written in 1875 by Rebecca Rose Moore (wife of Augustus Moore and Margaret's great great grandmother), when the school was attempting to get started.  These were included in the back of her book.   The letters are authentic and coincide with information and documents, as well as knowledge of a volunteer docent at the Sunol Wilderness Park offices.  Margaret's intention in sharing this information is to help others who may be researching this school, as she owns the only known copy of this book.  

Front cover reads:

“The Camper’s Story – and Other Stories – by Rebecca R. Moore”

Inscription page reads:

“To my late husband Augustus Moore who was ever kind and true, I dedicate this little book.”


January 18th, 1875.

Editor Independent: We read your valu­able paper and think you have had corres­pondents from almost every spot in the county, except from our little dark corner, which might well be called the Egypt of the county. Usually there is nothing either amusing or exciting to be recorded here, but within the last two months, some of our antediluvian inhabitants have been stirred to the depths and kept at a white heat of excitement by some impertinent, presumptuous people who have had the assurance to start a free school in the neighborhood. Yes sir! they have foisted upon this dark settlement that harbinger of progress, that pet hobby of Americans, a common school.  Now this is an innovation not to be quietly sub­mitted to, and it has been stoutly resisted from the beginning, and at the utmost the friends of progress could only just get it across the line in the extreme corner of the district, where it is watched with a jealous eye, lest it do some terrible mischief. But as right and progress always triumph at last, its friends are confident of success. Already a ray of the light of civilization is shining through the dark cloud, dissolving the darkness, prejudice and ignor­ance, and the rumble of the wheels of progress are heard in the distance, startling these Rip Van Winkles from .their long slumber, and when the loud, sweet, melodious whistle of the engine of civilization is heard here, as it certainly will be, we expect to see these relics of the dark ages retreating, terror-stricken, up salt creek on a plank of Noah's Ark, as a more modern conveyance would not be tolerated by them.


April 25th, 1876.

Editor Independent: Perhaps a few words from our little out-of-the-way place would not be objectionable to your readers. There was an election held on last Saturday, at the house of one of our residents here, for the purpose of voting a tax to build a school house in our new district; which event caused quite an excite­ment here, and also considerable amusement for the fun-loving portion of our inhabitants. Those who were" forninst" the tax marshalled all the forces they had in the district, and all they could muster out of it who were foolish enough to try illegal voting. But all in vain; for as usual brains won against brute force, and we may hope to have in a few weeks a respectable school house to take the place of the little floorless cabin now in use which was donated by the trustees. The donkey who brayed the loudest thought it passing strange that the non-residents could not vote after he made the statement that he had seen the "shuperintindent an' the shuperintindent knalt down be the side ov me an' towled me be the map on the wall that they were in the dishtrict, an' if they don't vote there is nothing lagal about it at all, at all."

W ell the agony is over, the die is cast, and happy are we to know that the friends of pro­gress and education are in the majority here. that the lamp of intelligence begins to burn brightly, and we may hope that in a few years we shall have no young men here who cannot read their own name on a sign should they chance to see it there. I must not forget to chronicle the one fight-no it was not a fight either, only a nose pulled-the nose too of a very dignified no-tax gentleman; at least he tries to be dignified and perhaps succeeds as well as any other man would who measured but four feet in height. Poor little chap-he squealed like a motherless pig, and the gentle­ man who spiraled his proboscis said he felt very much ashamed afterwards for doing even that to a man who would not make the least effort to defend himself. Well as I said before, the friends of progress are in the majority here, and we shall have our school, although it is a very bitter pill for the old fossils to swallow. Poor old Rip Van Winkles they awoke too late; progress had already passed them by, with sturdy strides and streaming banners, and they strain their eyes in vain to catch even a flutter of the snow-white folds of the banner which heralds civilization. Hurrah for free America, and our public schools generally. So mote it be.    

M. R. R.