Bidwell School — Lodi, CA
Posted by DaveSanders | California | Posted on September 2nd, 2010
There isn’t much information available for Bidwell School on the web, but for a few years it was one of the top private schools in the country. Below is a collection of facts, articles and conjectures about Bidwell School. Hopefully some alumni will jump in and fill in the spaces.
Bidwell School may have opened in temporary facilities sometime between 1965 and 1967. The main Bidwell School building was constructed on 67 acres of rural Joaquin County farmland at 12755 N Hwy. 88, Lodi, California in 1967-68. It was a 12,000 sq. ft. single-story white wood building. An additional 546 sq. ft. shop storage building was also built. Various sources give further details about the school:
– east of Stockton, southeast of Lodi, between Live Oak Rd and Harney Lane
– across from Fraser Ranchettes
– 15 miles from the population center
– 5 miles from nearest fire department
– had its own water and sewage system
The Bidwell School yearbook was called the “Attica” and the student newspaper was the “Easy Writer” (great name!).
A quick look at Google Map’s satellite view shows the school sitting in the middle of thousands of acres of farmland. It’s interesting that the 1971 Attica Yearbook contains a photo of a crop-duster (an ad for Agrico Flight Futures). In 1984, when the Bidwell School building was being used as a juvenile rehabilitation center, a “pesticide drift” from a nearby farm sent 34 boys to the hospital with respiratory distress.
We would like to create alumni apparel for Bidwell School, but we couldn’t find the school colors or determine if they had a mascot.
We don’t know to what degree Bidwell School participated in interscholastic sports. They had an enviable archery program and girl’s volleyball was introduced in 1971. The middle school had a basketball program at least between 1970 and 1972.
Below is a list of news stories about the Bidwell School. (These articles are all from the archives of the Lodi News-Sentinel.) The next to last one, A Long Talk with George Creary, is very interesting.
We’re sure there’s much more to tell about Bidwell School. Please share your memories (and straighten out our facts) by leaving a comment below.
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