At Sunol Glen School, we truly are a hidden gem.
If you've ever driven the 680 freeway from San Jose to Pleasanton, you have undoubtedly passed by our little hamlet called the Town of Sunol. Hidden amongst trees at the base of Pleasanton Ridge, our small town and school remains practically untouched. Hundred year old oak trees, hundred year old homes – and just four main roads within the vicinity of town.
Photo from Sunol.net.
A school rich with history.
Sunol is a rural community of 900 to 1,200 people located in Alameda County between the south San Francisco Bay and the Livermore Valley. The total land area designated as Sunol encompasses 86 square miles - about the same size as the city of San Francisco.
The current Sunol Glen school, built in 1925, has about 250 students in kindergarten through eighth grades. The school has always acted as a community center - the auditorium still contains a metal lined movie projection loft designed during the era of carbon-arc projectors.
Photo by Andrew Schneider.
Tucked away in splendid nature.
"With its 12 Corinthian columns, the Sunol Water Temple looks as if it should anchor an Italian piazza. Built in 1910 by the privately owned Spring Valley Water Company, this 60-foot-high pavilion marks the confluence of three East Bay water sources — though only one is currently in use. At one time, more than half of San Francisco’s water passed through here."
– LOUISE RAFKIN, nytimes.com
Our school is a short walk from this historic gem – and all of those gently rolling hillsides surround Sunol in every direction. Wild turkeys, barn owls, deer and turkey vultures are among the animals that greet us each day.
Photo from Wikipedia.org.
Welcoming all aboard.
The Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads had separate tracks through Sunol until 1984 when the Southern Pacific right-of-way was abandoned. In 1987, the Pacific Locomotive Association gain access to the Southern Pacific right-of-way and relaid the tracks between Sunol and Niles.
They now offer steam train rides down Niles Canyon not only to the public, but every year our entire student body hops aboard the train near the end of the school year for a special ride just for the school.