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Vintage photos show Santa Rosa High School 125 years ago

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When Santa Rosa High School opened in 1874, it was the second high school in Sonoma County, after Petaluma High, and the eighth in California. It was the only public high school in Santa Rosa for more than 80 years until Montgomery High opened in 1958.

During its 145 years, Santa Rosa High has weathered a devastating fire at one of its earlier locations, hosted a debate featuring Richard Nixon and saw the district add public high schools at four new campuses as well as Ridgway High School, adjacent to Santa Rosa High.

Santa Rosa Junior College next door was once a part of the high school, sharing classrooms and teachers from 1918 to 1932.

The current building on Mendocino Avenue was designed by W. H. Weeks in 1922 and opened to students on Dec. 29, 1924.

The classic design with its expansive green lawn was a featured location in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1986 film “Peggy Sue Got Married,” starring Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage.

Click through our gallery above to see historic images of Santa Rosa High.

-Staff Writer Kerry Benefield contributed to this report.

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