Altaville Schoolhouse

Altaville Schoolhouse is believed to be the oldest surviving school house in California. This one room schoolhouse was built in 1858 of local sun dried bricks. It is California State Historical Landmark Number 499.

The schoolhouse was in continuous use from 1858 to 1950. It has been carefully restored and sits on a beautiful site which appears much as it did in 1858. Located on Highway 49, near the intersection of Highway 4, there is a parking area, picnic benches and many shade trees.

Of interest, the funds necessary to build the school were raised by a dance in the Billiard saloon of the N.R. Prince building, which still stands today just a little farther down the street.

The historic Altaville Schoolhouse is located at 125 N. Main Street. It is part of Angels Camp Museum. To learn more, check out

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Latitude: 38.076213 Longitude: -120.545209 Elevation: 1470 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Kimberly Arth

Seasons Open


Hours Open

Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Visitation is free.


I attended both 1st and 2nd grade, 1947/48. Concurrently my Uncle (Melvin) attended 7th/8th grade in the framed school house. I had the pleasure/distinction of having Mrs. Marcella Avery as my teacher. You can only imagine my surprise/my delight when in 1999, I learned of the school becoming an historical site. My father was the ranch foreman at the "Red Roof" (or) "Red Top" ranch. The pictures are beautiful. I started my 3rd grade year at the new Mark Twain Elementary, and transferred mid year to the old school house in Copperopolis. I wish I had a pic of the school house in Copperopolis. Thanks so much for the pictures and the article.

Gary G. Williams of Reno, NV, 7/21/2011

My Grandmother, Leola Mildred Bidwell attended this school when she was a younster. I’m not sure what grades, as she was born in Angels Camp in 1895. I was recently in the area so I stopped by a local store and bought a painting of the school.

Darlene , 2/18/2013

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