THE HISTORY OF PIEDMONT
Helen Stoddard Chenoweth
Piedmont High School - March 15, 1929.
THE FIRST SCHOOL
With the growth of the community came the demand for school facilities. No school had yet been established in the Piedmont district, when in 1878 Walter G. Blair drew up a petition for which he obtained the names of George W. Hume, Jonathan Hunt, Weston & Welsh, Montgomery and Samuel Howe, Col. Jack Hayes and a certain Walker whose initials have not been recorded. The petition asking for the services of a teacher, was presented to the Alameda County Board of Education. Piedmont's first teacher was Miss Zylphie Raymond, a sister of Mrs. George Hume. The first classes were conducted in a one-room annex to the Hume residence, with Lizzie and Frank Hume, the Hume children, Al and Fred Walker, and Jean and Will Blair as scholars, six in all. As the district was growing, in three years there was need for a larger school.
The County Board of Education accordingly bought from Montgomery Howe a frontage of one hundred feet on the county road, now Piedmont Avenue, opposite Pleasant Valley. A building forty feet by forty feet square was erected, and at that time was considered a good sized building. All the grades were housed in the building from the eighth to the first, the eighth in those days being the beginner's class. Miss Amy Horton constituted the entire faculty, serving both as principal and teacher of all grades, having from three to five in each class.
Most of the children rode to school on horseback, tethering their horses in a shed at the rear of the school house.