Notre Dame College
San Francisco, CA Biographies





NOTRE DAME COLLEGE
Notre Dame College of San Francisco, situated at 347 Dolores street, and in charge of the Sisters of Notre Dame, is the oldest educational institution for girls in this city, and rates very high in the school system of the Pacific coast.

The Sisters of Notre Dame originally emigrated from Belgium to Oregon, and there founded a college. In 1849, they came to San Francisco for the purpose of establishing themselves here, but after arriving they discovered that the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity had already come to this settlement; consequently they proceeded onward to San Jose, and in 1851 there founded the order in California. The mother house of the Sisters of Notre Dame remained in San Jose until 1923, when it was moved to Belmont, in San Mateo county, where it is now. The first of the Sisters of Notre Dame in California came in contact mostly with the Indians, who composed the majority of the population. The sisters learned the native tongue, and were of great benefit to the primitive tribes people, just as were the beloved padres who conducted the missions.

In 1866, Sister Aloyese of the Cross, a most estimable woman of English descent, came to San Francisco and founded Notre Dame College. The site of the school was on Dolores street, opposite the historic Mission Dolores, established by Father Junipero Serra in 1776. Just before the great fire of 1906 in San Francisco, the college occupied a five story building and there were about two hundred pupils then attending. When the devastating flames were sweeping through this section on that fateful day, the sisters allowed this building to be dynamited in order to prevent the fire from spreading farther westward. The Mission Dolores was saved. The new college erected after this disaster now accommodates approximately five hundred and fifty girl students. The curriculum of the school is of the first order, and the school is accredited by both the University of California and Stanford University. Grade and high school subjects are taught, and particular attention is given to vocal and instrumental music. The faculty is comprised of thirty five teachers, and during the summer months the sisters attend school at the University of California, Stanford University of Palo Alto, and the Teachers College, for the purpose of keeping abreast of modern developments in various subjects. The school has its own chapel and library, and is thoroughly equipped with up to date devices for the proper training of the students. Boarding pupils come to this school from all over the state of California, from Central America, and from the Hawaiian Islands. Athletics are encouraged, and the college always has teams representing the various sports in which girls participate, such as basketball, tennis and swimming. Many of the graduates of Notre Dame have gone forth into the world to make real reputations for themselves in music, in art, and in the professions. It is a college of which San Francisco is proud, and is an achievement much to the credit of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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