Uncovering Hamlin’s History

ArchivesPhotoWhen one steps into the Hamlin School, the pressed wood has felt the feet of thousands of students spanning decades of time passed. The first students to enter the Broadway Mansion explored the building at midnight by torchlight.

The origins of Hamlin start in 1863 at a separate location, but we moved into the 2120 Broadway address in 1928, with the McKinne campus added in 1961.

Last summer Hamlin faculty member Cyndera Quackenbush had the opportunity to unearth relics of Hamlin’s past. She discovered items dating back as far as 1854. Ms. Quackenbush encountered everything from Victorian Gold Damascene bracelets to Japanese paintings. Perhaps most revealing, were cassette tape recordings from former Hamlin students who attended the school in the early 20th century. Ms. Quackenbush was able to digitize these into shareable audio files. Through her research, we learn that Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt’s granddaughter, Eleanor Boettiger attended Hamlin, and that the Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine was a one time visitor.

Over the course of the next months Ms. Quackenbush is showcasing some of the physical objects that reveal Hamlin’s history. These treasures can be seen in Stanwood Hall and will be rotated periodically.

Below is a minute long audio recording of former Hamlin student, Aimee Exncios. Ms. Exnicos graduated from Hamlin in 1939, later attended University of California at Berkeley, and in 2000 was honored by former Mayor Willie Brown for her 50 years of distinguished service to San Francisco. Ms. Exnicios describes the high expectations set by Ms. Stanwood, Hamlin’s Head of School between the years 1927-1947.

 

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