In 1931 my father, Ellis “Dean” Dugger, was assigned to be the principal of Pacific Beach Elementary School. He was there for 9 years. When he began the school was complete along Emerald Street with a large auditorium class rooms and offices. Very soon a wing was added along Ingraham Street. It ran the length of the block and inluded two or three classrooms, a cafeteria, an eating room, and the last room next to Diamond Street was a toy loan library.
During the depression, most families couldn’t afford many toys. People donated what their children outgrew. A child could borrow a toy of their choice for two weeks and renew twice if they wished to have it longer. My brother and I learned to ride a bike with trainer wheels from that library. Kids loved this.
The group pictures are of the kindergarten class in 1936 at a party. The teacher was Miss Novak, pictured in the middle of the adults with my Mom, Prudence Dugger, on the left. Others include Bob Skinner, Constace Aller, Bertha Dugger, and Ellis Dugger.
On the playground, there were swings, bars, jungle gym, slide. There was a small bunch of Eucalyptus trees. And there was a large area where the girls played hopscotch and jump rope. Also classes had a recreation time where they played dodge ball, baseball, and other group games.
As the 30’s came close to ending, rationing began of sugar, coffee, and other items. People came to the school to get their stamps. (My mom used to tease us by threatening to trade our sugar for coffee.)
Pacific Beach was a wonderful place to grow up in the 30’s and 40’s. When we moved from 1564 Chalcedony to 1821 Oliver, in Dec.1941, most of the streets were still sand. We had fields of wild oats all around the Chalcedony house. In fact when I was married and left Pacific Beach in 1953, Grand Ave. was still a sand road. But when I returned 3 years later it was a huge highway.