Monthly News Article for November 2022


Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools • (530) 623-2861

Historical Schools Series, Part Two: A Short History of Trinity Center School District by Sarah Supahan

Trinity Center was so named as it was situated at the center of the Shasta-Yreka trail. Originally the land of the Wintu, the first white community was said to be created by Moses Chadbourne in 1851. One hundred years later, several of the town’s buildings were moved to the present location after the construction of the Trinity River Dam and the flooding of the original townsite. Trinity Center School District is said to be one of the earliest school districts established in the county, in operation during the 1862 – 63 school year. Then as now, there was one teacher.

The 1862 county school census indicated that there were thirteen, 4 to 18-year-olds in the town. The school census report for school year 1894-95 shows that the number of children in the Trinity Center community between the ages of five and seventeen jumped to 35 boys and 37 girls, for a total of 72 students. Of those, 38 attended school.

In 1867, the school was adverting in the local paper for a school teacher for just two months; The salary was $50 per month.Trinity Center

In May of 1895, a report on the school appeared in the local paper. The report said that Trinity Center’s school was “surpassed by no other district in the county in length of term, [and] regularity of attendance.” This was considered a real achievement due to the severity of the winter. That year there were three students promoted to the 9th grade: Lena Larsen, Viola Mathews, and Ettie Parry. Miss Ettie Parry also received a prize for the best work in spelling, and nine students attained regular attendance of over 95 percent.

Prior to 1950, there had been four different school buildings used at Trinity Center. The first was the “Hoffman home”; the second was located “opposite Lodge Hall”. The third was built in 1885, while another one was completed and dedicated in 1950. Because of the construction of Trinity Dam, the school from 1950 was then relocated, by moving truck, up to the current school site and served as the preschool until it burned down in 2001. Before that fire, the school was already in the process of building the new, separate classroom still in use today. The current school’s main building has one original structure built in 1962 and the rest has been added on to over the years. Further, a major remodel and roof replacement due to mold was completed in 2014-15.

By 1997, the Trinity Center yearbook shows a staff of nine and a “Resource Staff” of an additional nine members. There was a total student body of fifty-nine. There were so many students then that the 3-5th grade classroom of twenty-one students had to be located in the old school building.

Today the school is still thriving and this year has a student enrollment of thirteen students, the same as in 1862. There was a high of seventeen students during the 2020-21 school year, and ten students in 2021-22.

If you have more historical information about the school, please contact Sarah Supahan, County Superintendent of Schools, at 530-623-2862.


Trinity County Office of Ed | 201 Memorial Drive | PO Box 1256 |  Phone (530) 623-2861 | FAX (530) 623-4489

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