School Song

Hail to thee dear Grossmont
Hail blue and gold
Thy praise, thy faith, thy honor
shall in our lives be told
In thee our hearts shall ever
find inspirations mold
To thee our highest striving,
all hail blue and gold

"Hail to Thee, Dear Grossmont" was composed by Harold Lutz, sometime in the 1930s.  He was instrumental music maestro at Grossmont for decades. 

Old Photos (source: Class of 55)

History of Grossmont Union High School

History of Grossmont Union High School

In 1902, Ed Fletcher and William Gross purchased the Villa Caro Ranch, which included the smaller peak on the north side of Mt. Helix. Fletcher named this mountain Grossmont, in honor of Gross. In 1910, the two men developed it as a picturesque artist's colony.

June, 1920- Grossmont Union High School District was formed.

December 13, 1920, lot purchased from Col. Ed Fletcher for $10.00; September 17, 1921, grading and footings constructed; and January 13, 1923, buildings completed.


The ivy which was used so extensively in the landscaping was obtained from Castle Rocks Ranch in El Cajon. Mr. J. M. Asher, San Diego's first florist and pioneer nurseryman (1869) and developer of Castle Rocks Ranch in 1879, had brought the ivy to Castle Rocks. It was taken to the Grossmont High School campus by the Busch boys who were among the first students to attend there and whose parents owned Castle Rocks Ranch at that time.

In the year 1922-1923, the first classes of the Grossmont Union High School were held on the new Grossmont campus.  Carl Vance was the principal and . Carl Quicksall, a teacher. In 1924, Mr. Quicksall became superintendent when  Carl Vance resigned. In 1944, Mr. Quicksall retired and  Lewis Smith became superintendent. Mr. Smith retired in 1964 and  John T. Warburton took over as superintendent.

"The new Grossmont Union High School, situated upon a sightly knoll and commanding a sweeping view of El Cajon Valley and the picturesque Cuyamaca Mountains, is constructed of gray granite. With its suggestive towers, turrets, and battlements, this two story, semi-octagonal building from the rear, gives the impression of some impenetrable medieval castle where armed hordes might battle vainly before stern gates. Yet approaching it from the front, one might easily imagine that those walls and shining windows were concealing some fairy princess; and for all that, they may - who knows?

The above description of our school, written by Hayden Honnell, starts the imaginative powers to working and one might expect to see a horde of medieval humans occupying the structure. What one does see, however, are the boys and girls of the twentieth century busy in the school life of Grossmont. This building represents the interest and sacrifice of many people who have done a great deal to further the opportunities of the students by consolidation and one might go far to find a person who is not proud indeed of the new "Grossmont."

The history of the school union began in 1920, when on August 14th of that year the El Cajon and Riverview High Schools consolidated with the Allison Spring Valley and Lemon Grove Grammar School districts. The Riverview High School was used in 1920 - 1921 in preference to El Cajon High School because it was larger. The first trustees of the consolidated schools were A. B. Foster (President).  Eveleen K. Bryan, Izer Davis, R. T. Robinson, Jr., and W. J. Seat. On October 4, 1920, a resolution was offered in a meeting of the trustees to call a bond election for November 5, 1920, to raise the sum of one hundred and ten thousand dollars for the new building to be erected at Grossmont on fourteen acres of land given by Col. Ed. Fletcher. When the returns of the bond election were canvassed, it was found that a large majority were in favor of the bonds.

On June 18, 1921, the contract for the new building was let to Young and Beer. The material for the structure was to be gray granite from the hills on Grossmont, which Colonel Ed. Fletcher furnished the contractors at the cost of getting it out. The work was to begin July 1, 1921, and to be completed in twelve months.  J.W. Wiley of La Mesa was hired as the Board's inspector, and it was in part due to him that the good looking building we have was secured.

The work was begun at the time specified, and the building was slowly erected. During the erection, the ceremony of laying the cornerstone took place on February 6, 1922, in the presence of the teachers and pupils of the high and grammar schools, and a large number of citizens.

As the building was not completed at the time for the fall opening for school, and as it seemed that the contractors would be unable to complete it, the Board took over the finishing of the contract and with Mr. Wiley as Superintendent of Construction the building was finally completed in every detail by December. Meanwhile, however, school began on September 25, with an attendance of three hundred and twenty, which has increased up to the latter part of the school year to three hundred and fifty.

With this brief history in mind of the facts leading up to the present school whose beauty of structure can be seen in the opposite picture, the students of Grossmont take great pride in knowing that their school is a fitting and lasting monument to the patrons of the district."

quote by Helen Moriarty '24


1952- Helix High School was built in La Mesa at 7323 University Avenue with Mr. Benton Hart as the principal.

1955- El Cajon Valley High School was built in El Cajon at 1035 East Madison Avenue with Mr. John Cornelius as its principal. Mr. Cornelius retired in the spring of 1969 and Mr. James R. Peace, a former teacher at that school, became the new principal.

1957- Mount Miguel High School was built in Spring Valley at 1800 Sweetwater Road with Mr. Melvin Grant as its principal.

1959- El Capitan High School was constructed in Lakeside at 10410 Ashwood (formerly part of San Diego River) with Mr. Russel Savage as principal.

1960- Granite Hills High School was built in El Cajon at 1719 East Madison Avenue and Mr. Phillip Morell is the principal.

1961- Monte Vista High School was also built in Spring Valley at 3230 Sweetwater Road with Mr. Stanley McClintic as principal.

1965- Santana High School was constructed in Santee at 9915 Magnolia Avenue with Mr. Robert Spencer as principal.


La Mesa's population, in 1950, was 11,000. By 1960 it grew to 30,000. Today, the population of La Mesa is nearly 60,000.
(Source: La Mesa Historical Society)

El Cajon's population in 1950 was 6,000. By 1960 the population was 37,618. Today the population of El Cajon is nearly 96,000.
(Source: City of El Cajon)