History

The History of Northridge Middle School:

For most of you, Northridge Middle School will be your home away from home. With a population of approximately 1150, built on 30 acres of what is now very expensive land, and with more than 35 separate buildings, it is like a small town-a very friendly small town.

As in the case of any town or city, this school, and the surrounding community which has given Northridge Middle School its name, has an interesting history. Do you know that this school is built on land which was once part of the largest single land grant in the state of California? Do you know that the history of this area is closely linked to the 1797 founding of Mission San Fernando? It happened this way..

By the middle of the last century, Mission San Fernando was no longer a center of education for the Indians who inhabited the valley. Responsibility for the administration of the mission and its land passed from the church to the Mexican government. In 1845, the governor of California, Pio Pico, who was directly responsible for the mission and its lands, was a worried official because the Americans seemed bent on taking over California, and Governor Pico needed money to equip an army to withstand the Americans. He therefore sold the Rancho Ex-Mission de San Fernando to Eulogio de Celis, a citizen of Spain for the sum of $14,000.

The rancho remained in the hands of the de Celis family until 1847 when the northern half of the ranch (from about Roscoe Boulevard to the mountains) was sold to two northern Californians – Senators George Porter and Charles Maclay – for $53,000. From that time to the present, the development of the Northridge area has been stedy-from wheat fields to orange groves to horse ranches. In fact, in the late 1940s through the 1950s, Northridge was known as the “horse capital of the West.”

So it was that the rapidly growing town of Northridge came to need its own middle school; and in 1953, amid the groves and ranches, Northridge Middle School began to be built.  To bring you up to date, this school officially opened


on November 15, 1954, with 1,000 students who had been brought all the way from Fulton Middle School in Van Nuys.