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Originally located 5 miles southeast of Gonzales, La Gloria School was first organized in 1873 and was closed in the early 1960s. It remained vacant until it was moved to San Lorenzo Park in 1980 to become part of the museum complex.

The desks were handmade and "the house was plain and not well finished." In 1887 a tax was voted to build the present school. The schoolhouse, outhouses, and fences were built for a total of $1,325.

Each year the school was improved with new books, furniture, pictures and a horse shed. Among the improvements was an Estey Organ, purchased by the Trustees in 1895 for $90. Pepper trees lined the schoolyard and three garden plots provided flowers for the schoolroom. A flag pole, built in 1898, stood in the center of the yard.

Like all country schools, La Gloria was the entertainment center for the community. Dinners, exhibitions, and "patriotic entertainment" was often held at the school. In East of Eden John Steinbeck described the role of the country school:

            "In the country the repository of art and science was the school, and the schoolteacher shielded and carried the torch of learning and beauty. The schoolhouse was the meeting place for music, for debate. The polls were set in the schoolhouse for elections. Social life whether it was the crowning of a May Queen, the eulogy to a dead president, or an all-night dance, could be held nowhere else."

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