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Millikin History


John Millikin was born in 1807. He came west by way of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois - finally arriving in the Santa Clara Valley in 1852 after a long struggle over the plains by ox team. He acquired an 80 acre parcel on the northwest corner of Lawrence Station Road and El Camino Real. This location became known as "Millikin Corners" and included a farm, a grocery store, and a saloon.

John Millikin School was first established in Millikin's honor in 1855 and was the largest of the four schools that made up the original Jefferson School District. The structure stood along the creek approximately where Benton Street now crosses Lawrence Espressway. Later the original school, a little one-room cabin which is no longer standing, was moved to the corner of Pomeroy Avenue and Homestead Road. A second larger building was added.

The original building was damaged by fire and in the late 1920's was used for storage. Through the efforts of Paul Sr. and Victoria Mariani and friends, the building was converted into a recreation club called Napredak Club. It provided a place for young people and adults to go for picnics, dances, and other social activities. This was Mariani's way of preserving the Yugoslav culture in the community. When Lawrence Road was widened, the building was re-established on Montague Expressway.

John Millikin School opened at its present site on Sonoma Place in September 1956.

The campus of 10.6 acres on Sonoma Place first included the office and fourteen classrooms, the kindergarten building, and three wings housing rooms 1 -12. In 1961 a library and four classrooms (our current 1st grade wing) were added. In 1965 a cafetorium and music room were added.

Until September 1981, Millikin was a neighborhood school. Declining enrollment in the district led to the closure of several schools in the summer of 1981. Millikin was one of those schools. The neighborhood student population was split between Pomeroy and Haman. The Basics + Formal program had been operating for five years as a small school on other campuses. It was at Raynor School (K-3) and Laurelwood School (4-6) for two years, 1976 to 1978. Then it moved to Briarwood as a K-6 school, one class per grade from 1978 to 1981. In school year 1980-1981, a Kindergarten class and a pilot 7th grade class were added. In 1981 Millikin Basics+ took over the Sonoma Place site as a K-6 school, adding a class at each grade level each year to its eventual configuration of two classes at each grade level, K-5. The 6th grade was moved to middle school in 1985.

The library was moved from Room 13 to Rooms 7 and 8 in 1979. The back of the cafeteria was converted from a stage and music room to office and workroom in 1979. The office was remodeled that same year and again in 1998. The computer lab was added in 1988. The primary playground was remodeled in 1995, and the upper grade and Kindergarten was remodeled in 1998. With the need for additional classrooms as a result of the state's class size reduction program, three portable classrooms were added to the campus from 1997-1998.

Thanks to the following people for their contributions to the Millikin Basics+ History Page:

Jim Hurley, F. A. Yamashita and Nancy Tucker