Texas history scholars were treated to an insightful and educational dedication ceremony at the old Riverside School on Sept. 16, which featured the presentation of a Texas Historical Commission marker adorning the building.
An enthusiastic group of junior high students, former alumni, public officials and citizens attended the event at the old school to commemorate its importance in Gonzales history.
There, the junior high history scholars met with alumni of the Riverside school, Dr. Portales and Joe Silvas, who shared their memories of the historical school.
Others giving announcements during the morning’s event included County Judge Pat Davis, who noted the historic school closed when he was just one year old, and Mayor Connie Kacir.
Local historian Glenda Gordon noted that the Riverside School, originally named the “Water Street Mexican School,” was established by the Gonzales Independent School District sometime in the 1910s, and that it originally housed classes for first-through-sixth graders in four classrooms. The name changed to “Riverside School” in 1922, and at the same time the school reduced the number of grades taught to first through third.
In 1928 GISD provided the school with gas heaters. A few years later, to help with overcrowding, the district added two more classrooms and a separate interior restroom area for the girls.
By 1948, there were 91 students in first grade, and the district integrated Mexican-American students with the anglo students. In the 1960s GISD transferred fourth-through-sixth grade black students from Edwards School to Riverside.
The former Riverside school was utilized as a storage building following the 1964-65 school year. Then in March 1980 the building was leased and remodeled for public meeting space.