“We can still hear the sounds of children playing in the auditorium at certain quiet times during the day,” says one city worker. Another person swears she has heard ghostly footsteps of children running up and down the stairs as if they were on their way to their classrooms.
Sixty-two years after gold was discovered near Sacramento, California, H. A. McClelland purchased 250 acres of land in 1908 to develop the Elmhurst neighborhood. The City of Sacramento annexed the neighborhood in 1911. When the need for a school was determined, Elmhurst School was built for the neighborhood in 1921. A year later, the school was expanded and renamed “Coloma School”. The school operated for 57 years before closing in 1978.
The facility was saved from demolition when the Sacramento City Council decided to purchase it, and in 1981 the facility was originally dedicated as the Coloma Community Center, a visual and performing art center. The building has meeting rooms, one dance room, and a full performance auditorium with a stage for various activities. Parks and Recreation staff are housed in the upstairs portion of the building and recreational services, classes and events are offered there.
The chalkboards have long since been painted over. There are still nooks and crannies everywhere, random corners enshrouded in the unique brick architecture from a long-ago era.
Although children happily visit the playground and park daily, there is a belief that when the school had to close its doors, the ghosts of broken-hearted school children still haunt the building to this day.