School ~ Library ~ Community Center
In 1894, D.R. Guichard, a resident of Alba Road (known then as "Stoddard Road") made County Superintendent John W. Linscott a proposition: A chicken dinner, if he would walk from the Ben Lomond School on Newell Creek, all the way to the Guichard residence, two miles up the mountain. This was the route children (Guichard had seven) had to take to attend the nearest school. Linscott didn't end up making it on foot; he took a horse and buggy. Guichard still fed him the chicken dinner though, because the point had been made: A closer school was needed. The Alba District was formed, named after the youngest daughter of long time local resident Joseph Rossi. The structure itself was barn-raised by the community.
Alba Rossi, born in 1888, was one of the first children to attend.
By 1933, with more people moving into the area, it was decided to expand the Alba Schoolhouse. In March of 1934, the one-room Sequoia School
on China Grade in Boulder Creek---which had been closed for ten years---was taken apart board-by-board and reassembled onto the rear of the Alba structure. A deck was later added.
In 1940, the Alba School House ceased to function as a school. It became a remote branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library System, open one day a week, until 2007. These days it is a community center available for public and private use, and the headquarters of the Alba Parks and Recreation district.
And you can still borrow a book when you visit, if you really want to.
Click at right to view The Founding of Ben Lomond, a Mountain Community: A History Of Alba School and its District
© Lucia MacLean