1921, Santa Manuela School near present day Lopez Dam. Photo courtesy South County Historical Society
Leading up to the Arroyo Grande Centennial, this information from the South County Historical Society who provided the photo. If you want to learn more about the history of the region this and other stories can be found in the book "Arroyo Grande – Images of America" by Gary Hoving and Jean Hubbard.
Children came from ranches and farms in the area to the Santa Manuela School show above in 1921. It became the second school district in the area and was located near the base of the Lopez Lake Dam.
The Santa Manuela Schoolhouse was built in 1901. It served the children of the Lopez Canyon and beyond until 1957. The South County Historical Society obtained the schoolhouse protecting it from demolition before the construction of Lopez Dam and Lake. It was moved to a site on the grounds of Paulding Middle School and then to its current location in the Heritage Square area at one end of the swinging bridge in the village of Arroyo Grande.