Throwback Thursday: Education in Edgewater

Edgewater has a strong history of education dating back to the late 1800s as people began to settle the area. As the city grew so did its schools and buildings have transitioned with the changing demographics of the area.

The first school in the Edgewater area was built near 19th and Pierce or as it was referred to in those days, “in the hollow.” This one room, log cabin school was part of School District 21 which was formed in 1872. Then in 1901 a brick schoolhouse was built at 24th and Eaton which included first through 8th grades. In 1912 a second story was added to this school. Parents from this school started a Mothers Circle in 1907 which became the first PTA in Jefferson County in 1915.

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The Edgewater School in 1929

With population growth in Edgewater, some classes even had to meet at the Edgewater Christian Church which is still located at 25th and Chase. That same year in 1924, a new structure was built on Eaton with two more rooms, a basement and a new assembly hall. Then in 1937 a gymnasium was added thanks to a WPA grant. You can still see this gymnasium on the south side of what is now the Edgewater Plaza. The first class to graduate the new Edgewater High School was in 1937. Edgewater High School had some very successful basketball teams winning the state championship in 1935, 1941, and 1952.

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Edgewater Elementary School was built in 1949 at 24th and Depew and the addition of a gym/cafeteria and classroom wing were built in 1954. Recently another addition and main entrance atrium were completed in 1997.

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Edgewater Elementary School as it looks today from the east

In 1950, 39 school districts, including Edgewater, consolidated into the Jefferson County Schools R-1. Lumberg Elementary School was constructed in 1955 at the corner of 22nd and Pierce to accommodate the families moving into the Rose Acres subdivision. Lumberg Elementary was named after the Lumberg family that donated the land for the school.

A current view of Lumberg Elementary

A current view of Lumberg Elementary

In 1955, rival schools Mountair High School and Edgewater High School were combined by Jefferson County Schools. Grades 10-12 met at the former Edgewater High School at 24th and Eaton. Grades 7-9 were moved to the old Mountair High School at 1500 Chase Street in Lakewood which was converted to Belmont Junior High.

Jefferson High School continued the excellent basketball tradition that started at Edgewater High School by having an undefeated basketball season and winning state in 1957. The new Jefferson High School at 24th and Pierce opened in 1958. The Saint Jeff mascot was created by student Bob Harvey. The Jefferson name was picked by students in honor of Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson County.

Saint Jeff

Saint Jeff

Belmont Junior High closed in 1979 and students were bused to Wheat Ridge Junior High on 38th Avenue. Edgewater area students continued to attend 7th and 8th grade at Wheat Ridge Junior High until it transitioned to become Wheat Ridge Middle School with a new facility in 1995. Starting in the fall of 2015, area students will attend 7th and 8th grade at Jefferson High School.

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The current Jefferson High School

Sources:

  • Edgewater’s Golden Anniversary History Book (1951)
  • Edgewater: Four Score by Judith Allison (1979)
  • Edgewater Colorado: A Centennial Celebration by Celora Jean Jones and Connie Jo Fox (2001)

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