Marysville High School was one of the first three public high schools established in California in 1871. It was designed to be a feeder school to the University of California at Berkeley, the first public university established west of the Mississippi River, in 1868. This year MHS will present its 150th graduating class.
The City of Marysville, named after Mary Murphy Covillaud, a Donner party survivor and wife of the mayor, is seated in Yuba County at the confluence of the Feather and Yuba Rivers, forty miles north of Sacramento and fifteen miles west of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Marysville boomed following the 1848 California gold discovery, serving as the supply town for placer miners who had traveled from all over the world, sailed up the Sacramento River from San Francisco, then further up the Feather River to arrive in Marysville, the point at which steamships could no longer sail. Marysville was incorporated as the City of Marysville (“Gateway to the Goldfields”) in 1850. Throughout this period, Marysville became the recognized “Hub” of the north state, and, in the 1850’s and 60’s, serious consideration was given to make Marysville the capital city of California. As placer mining died down, Marysville maintained its gateway status serving as the central nervous system for hydraulic mining all along the Yuba River throughout the 1880’s. The massive amount of sediment washed from the mountains and hillsides filled the Yuba River causing frequent and severe flooding in Marysville. At the turn of the century, to protect the City of Marysville from flooding, the city fathers constructed levees surrounding the city, which served to protect the city from flooding but sealed the city limits from further expansion. As hydraulic mining played out, due to economic and environmental concerns, agriculture, namely prunes, peaches, almonds, rice, and cattle became the economic engine with which the area surrounding Marysville still identifies. Flooding in Marysville remains a perennial concern.
Since 1871, MHS, originally located at the intersection of 7th and C streets, has been the jewel of the “Gateway to the Goldfields.” From 1871 to almost 1900, MHS was the only high school in the area. Students traveled by coach, ferry, and horseback to attend school. In 1925, the beautiful two story brick school building (currently home to our District Office) was constructed on B Street. MHS operated on the first floor, and the newly established Yuba Community College operated from the second floor. In 1943, at the end of the Depression and during WWII, a new Yuba College campus (currently the MHS main building) was constructed as a product of the Works Progress Act (WPA). Our main building, which is 78 years old, is in much better condition than many newly constructed school buildings. The outstanding performance of our custodial staff demonstrates the authentic respect (one of our three schoolwide expectations) our custodians show daily toward our students and staff.
In 1962, a new Yuba College campus was built in Yuba County, south of the Yuba River. At that time the MHS student population was nearly 2,500. Once the college moved to their new location, MHS was able to utilize all 64 acres of the campus. In 1949, the Yuba College/MHS “War Memorial” football stadium was built in tribute to veterans from the two World Wars. The stadium is one of the very best venues for watching or playing a high school football game. MHS has had a football team for over a 100 years. In 2017, the football field at "War Memorial” stadium was renamed the “Glen E. Harris Field” in memory and honor of Mr. Harris who invested over thirty years in the community including his time as a MJUSD Board member.
In 1975, the Marysville Joint Unified School District opened a second comprehensive high school, Lindhurst High School (LHS), exactly eight miles south of MHS, south of the Yuba River, in Olivehurst, California. Since the opening of LHS in 1976, MHS has maintained a population of approximately 1,000 students.