SEPTEMBER 16, 1889 TO SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

One hundred and twenty five years ago, Fresno High School welcomed its first students into class. The student body had only 50 students and held classes on the second story of the K Street School which later became Emerson Elementary. The grades included ninth, junior and middle and those who passed the middle classes become the first seniors in the school and graduated in 1890.

Eventually, after many moves, including to a combination bathhouse and store building, it became apparent that a permanent site was needed for the school. The first permanent building was on O Street between Stanislaus and Tuolumne Streets and opened with 400 students in 1896. By 1915, this campus again was declared overcrowded and by 1922, three classical buildings were erected on the present Echo Avenue campus. Those buildings, Josiah Royce Hall, Joseph LaConte Hall and Alice Freedman Palmer Hall were the first buildings on the site, eventually a larger campus evolved.

In the early 1970’s, again due to increased enrollment, Palmer and LaConte halls were demolished and another transformation took place with the 1973 seniors graduating from still another version of the school. The final improvements began in 2012 and the school again opened up in August of 2013 to once more another edification of the campus on Echo.

Fresno High is the second oldest high school in the San Joaquin Valley, the other being Modesto High, and plans a celebration on September 16, 2014, to kick off a year of activities for a school most deserving. The Fresno High Alumni Association has chosen to have a bronze plaque made to be set between the 2014 and 2015 senior class plaques. Please watch for updated information regarding this celebration on the alumni website at All the students will be part of this major celebration as well as community and education leaders.

Many thanks to Kristi Carlson a 1968 graduate for the plaque design and to W-N Art Bronze for constructing it.