In notes from the Downey Historical Society dated June 21, 1965, E.W. Ward states that the first school district in Downey was Silver District.
The district covered all land south of Telegraph Road to the ocean, between two rivers. The name “Silver” was derived from the silver color of the willow leaves, which made the area look that color when seen from a distance.
The first school in the Gallatin District was located near Florence Avenue and Tweedy Lane. In 1871, a two-story frame building replaced the first school. It was built of lumber hauled by oxen from San Pedro and dedicated by Governor Downey.
The New River School District was organized in 1874, which included land south of Foster Road, east of Woodruff Avenue. Later, this became part of the Alameda District.
The word Alameda means “shady walk,” and Alamo means poplar, therefore Alameda means row of poplars.
Per Ward, the Alameda School District included land south of the railroad between the rivers – Rio Hondo – old river, and Rio San Gabriel - new river. Ward stated that the first school was San Ridge School located about a mile south of the present Alameda School. The school was built in California Style with boards vertical. The building blew down in a Santa Ana wind storm.
Alameda School then built a school that provided two rooms for all the students from the railroad to the ocean. It was a two-teacher school until 1921.