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Articles

Lake’s receding waters continue to educate about the past

032916 steps

Ojai Valley News photo by Bill Warner

David Hartman and his daughter, Cathy Clark, stand on the newly uncovered back steps of Santa Ana School. The same steps appear in Hartman's class photo from 1944.

032916 class on the steps 1944

Photo courtesy of David Hartman

The 1944 Santa Ana School class picture included, according to Hartman: teacher, Mrs. Roberts (left); next to her, John Dawn; bottom row (from left) Frank Van Fleet, Charlotte Willis, Ethel Kenny, Betty Cudahy, Gary Guyman, Rita Savalas. Standing in second row (from left) unknown, unknown, Billie Argula, Lucille Kenny, David Hartman and Raymond Ball.

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter

There's not much to mark the site of the old Santa Ana School aside from a pile of bulldozed rubble overgrown with mulefat about 400 feet from the edge of Lake Casitas. No one might have thought any of the original structure was still intact — at least, until earlier this month, when David Hartman came by for a look. Undaunted by the heavy overgrowth, he navigated his walker to the school's back steps — the same steps where the class pictures were taken when he was a student there in 1944.

“I saw some rocks sticking out that looked like some kind of rock formation” said Hartman, who recognized the side of the steps he and his classmates used to run down for recess every day.

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