• Old Mill School is one of 5 elementary schools in Mill Valley, along with Park, Tamalpais Valley, Edna Maguire, and Strawberry Point Schools. Currently, there are about 300 students at Old Mill in kindergarten through 5th grades, and 13 grade-level teachers assisted by subject-specific teachers, resource staff, and teacher aides.


    Old Mill School has a long and interesting history:

    • In 1918 school trustees were authorized to purchase the 2.5 acre Sulphur Spring block, between Elma,Old Mill, Lovell and Throckmorton, to build a school to replace The Summit School, which once stood near the intersection of Summit and Cornelia Avenues.

    • Old Mill School opened on November 19, 1921. Total construction cost including equipment was $85,000.

    • In 1921: Cal defeated Ohio State 28-0 in the Rose Bowl; Babe Ruth hit 59 home runs for the Yankees; insulin was discovered; Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics; Warren G. Harding became the first president elected by both men and women (women won the right to vote in 1920); for the first time you could notify the Mill Valley Fire Department of a fire by dialing 211; San Francisco was still considered a long-distance phone call (for 2 more years); and you could still take the train to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.

    • The original structure is the oldest existing public elementary school building in Mill Valley

    • Old Mill started as a K-8 school.

    • During the turn of the century, and shortly thereafter, a sulfur spring well was located between Old Mill Street and Summit where the lower playground is today.  Every train that came to Mill Valley brought people carrying bottles to fill from this spring.

    • George Cory (b. 1920, d. 1978), composer of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," was a student at Old Mill School.

    • In 1925 Helen Keller, through her long-time teacher Anne Sullivan, addressed an audience of 200 at Old Mill School.

    • In the late-1930's, a major renovation was undertaken to ensure that the building met newly established seismic standards for public school buildings. Classrooms 1, 2, and 3 were added to the original structure.

    • In the late-1950's, four classrooms were added at the east end of the building along Old Mill Street.

    • In 1995, Old Mill began a major renovation requiring 3 years of work, including a new library/multimedia center, an art/science facility, administrative office core, and a new auditorium/gymnasium.

    • Old Mill School celebrated its 75th anniversary during the 1996-1997 school year.

    • In Fall of 1997 two new modular classrooms were added to the Old Mill campus.

    • In 2010, Old Mill School won the California Distinguished School Award, one of 484 elementary schools in the state to be recognized.  This was the fourth time Old Mill received the award since the program's inception in 1986.  Old Mill was also recognized in 1998, 1993, and 1989.
    • In 2016, Old Mill replaced the outside basketball court on the upper playground with turf.
     Mill School and a snow-covered Mount Tamalpais in 1922. Courtesy of the Lucretia Little History Room, Mill Valley Public Library
    Old Mill School