Westwood’s First High School

Courtesy of Hank Martinez
The Westwood Grammer and High Schools. Courtesy of Hank Martinez

For nearly twenty years, the Red River Lumber Company’s town of Westwood operated differently than other communities.  Even the public Westwood School District was an unusual creature in the beginning.  Under normal circumstances a school district would issue bonds to finance school construction. Not so in Westwood. Red River built the schools, and leased them to the Lassen County Superintendent of Schools at a nominal cost.

The first Westwood High School opened its doors as a private institution. As Westwood’s population continued to grow, this was reflected in the number of children attending school. By 1916, enrollment at the Westwood grammar school, known today as elementary, reached 325. That fall, the private high school was converted into a public one with forty students. In the fall of 1918, a two-story high school building was completed  next to the grammar school. For whatever reasons the formal dedication of the building did not occur until March 8, 1919.

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