My dad was a Farmer. That is, during the 1920’s he was a Hayward High School “Farmer” (Actually a tool and die maker for Caterpillar Tractor Company for 47 years). Founded in 1892, Hayward High is one of the oldest high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school adopted the Farmer mascot back when the Hayward was an agricultural center supplying the region with grains, fruits and vegetables. For more than 120 years the school’s emblem has featured a farmer in a straw hat and overalls along with a couple of plows. The school newspaper is named the “Haywire”. The original school building was a small one-story structure serving Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Redwood, Palomares and Stonybrook Canyons until it was replaced in 1911 by an architecturally classic structure complete with ionic columns, low pitched roofs and decorative friezes. As recently as the 1960’s some students still rode their horses to school and tied them to hitching posts dating from the 1890’s (I can still remember seeing hitching posts along in downtown Hayward along B and C streets). The attractive campus remained until 1962 when it was demolished to make way for the Hayward Civic Center Building and Hayward High was moved to its current location on East Avenue. You may have read in the East Bay News that the oversize concrete “H” on the hillside above City Center Drive and the original school location has recently been restored through generous gifts from alumni. The iconic symbol is a memorial to earlier and simpler days when Hayward High School was the jumping off place for tens of thousands of students embarking on their individual journeys to make their place in the world.
The old Hayward High School is a graphic reminder to us at UCH that nothing is forever but that we strive for a long run, acknowledge and celebrate the past, savor every moment of the present, and embrace the possibilities of the future. -Bill