Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Teacher from Pasadena, 18, Hired for Lang/Sterling Borax School.


Webmaster's note.

Situated among the cabins that housed Sterling Borax Company miners and their families in Tick Canyon, below the tailings at Davenport Road, was a schoolhouse. Known as the "Lang" or "Sterling" school, it was the edifice of the short-lived Sterling School District.

We don't know when it opened (mining began in 1908), but its days were numbered when 18-year-old Pasadena High School graduate Corrine Robertson arrived in early 1923 to teach what was probably its last semester. Mining had ceased in 1921. By 1924, when Corrine and her sister Irene were still living in "bacheloress apartments" in Tick Canyon — as reported in The Signal when it told of a strange incident (below) where Corrine wandered off and got lost in Soledad Canyon — or was she really just visiting the Shaefer boy? — the mining operation was mentioned in the past tense, and the school, not at all.

In 1925, the 26x50-foot, wood-frame schoolhouse was moved to Agua Dulce where it replaced a less formidable school building. Evidently the Sterling School District was dissolved and absorbed into the Agua Dulce School District. After initially offering the Sterling school for sale, the Agua Dulce school board decided a week later to keep it, along with its furniture, fixtures — and funding.

As for the pretty Miss Robertson, it's unclear whether she pursued her stated goal of studying journalism at USC. We don't find her byline anywhere (under either her maiden or married name). We do, however, find her teaching at Newhall School from 1925-1928. More to follow.


Pretty Girl to Quit City for Life on Desert.

Pasadenan Longs for Frontier Thrills; She Will Teach School.

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Click to enlarge.

Because she wants to experience something different from the humdrum of ordinary city life, as well as to gather material for a future journalistic career, Miss Corinne Robertson, 18, Pasadena high school graduate, is going into the wilds and desolation of the Mojave desert to teach school.

She wrote to 25 boards of directors in far-out places that might prove productive of thrills, and received a favorably reply from Lang, a borax company mine hamlet.

Few Small Houses.

Lang is made up of a few small houses confronting one another from opposite sides of a gulley, the gulley being a dry desert river-bed. It lies about half way between Mint and Bouquet canyons. Miss Robertson is to be a member of the household of Norman Ross, superintendent of the Pacific Coast Borax Company mine.

Dreariness and desolation may hang like everlasting clouds all round and about distant desert Lang, but the coming of Miss Robertson to the minute town and schoolhouse will brighten the scene with a silver lining. Miss Robertson is a petite, decidedly pretty and vivacious blond. She'll shine like a diamond in the tiny gulch village.

That Old Song.

There's an old song that runs, "All the boys for miles around gladly would to her be bound." This has nothing in particular to do with pretty Miss Robertson, save that it was suggested by her winsomeness. And who can tell for sure that the fellows up around Mint and Bouquet canyon may not feel that way.

But the prospective Lang school teacher says she doesn't think of such a thing as getting married. She wants to take a journalistic course in the University of Southern California next year, and then become a reporter and writer. Lang's in luck to get her. Here's wishing luck to the brave young lady herself.


The standard spelling of the family in Soledad Canyon is Shaefer.


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