Sherman Indian High School was derived from the Perris Indian School which was the first off reservation Indian Boarding School in the state of California…The Sherman Museum is housed in the Sherman Indian High School’s administration building, the current school’s only original architecture. The small, one-story Spanish style building still stands as it did 100 years ago, although the rest of the school was demolished and rebuilt to meet earthquake standards during the 1970s.
Two wood burning stoves once heated this structure of brick and stucco. In 1927, a small furnace was installed in the basement under the main part of the building, later replaced by a gas furnace no longer in use.
Sherman began to grow, necessitating enlargement of office space of the administration building in 1933, 1938, and 1960. A post office branch was established on campus, and in 1938, room was added for this purpose. It remained in operation until Indian Day, September 1970, when the museum was officially opened in it’s place.
Former Superintendent, Noel D. Scott, conceived the idea of a school museum, with assistance from Ned T. Robitzer, former plant manager and engineer, to be housed in Sherman’s old administration building. A third founder, Judson M. Bradley, retired Sherman printing instructor, with Mrs. Bradley, cooperated in establishing the facilities for museum purposes.
Mr. Bradley served as museum manager until his passing in July 1972, leaving Mrs. Bradley to continue in the dual roles of curator and manager. On October 20, 1974, the Sherman Museum was designated as Riverside Cultural Heritage Landmark No. 16. It was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on January 9, 1980.
In the Beginning …
COLORS. Sherman Institutes colors of royal purple and gold were chose at the Perris school, Sherman’s predecessor in 1900.
LONE STUDENT. Romaldo LaChusa (Mission) was the first student to enroll several days prior to July 18, 1902, when a contingent from Sacaton, Arizona, enrolled. Mr LaChusa also constitued a class of one graduating from the eighth grade in 1903.
SCROUNGERS. First school equipment in 1902 included scrounged dry goods boxes which served as desks and dining room seats. Some students stood for their meals.
September 1, 1902, school opened for the first time with a full complement of students.
March 3, 1903 marked the official opening.
1904. Sherman graduated its first class. No funds were available for diploma purchase.
1905. First meeting of returned students.
1906. “The Purple and Gold”, became Sherman’s official school song.
1907. Alumni Association organized.
1916. There were four Indians in Congress – – two each in the House and Senate.
1917 April 18. Sherman Institute is now under martial law from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. every day. Guard duty is standard routine.
1918. Richard E. Barrington, Washoe, was acting bandmaster. He was an outstanding baritone player, composer and lumber mill owner. He was once honored by the state of Nevada
May 1, 1919. Frank Martin, Fernando Lyons, Alexander Palmer and Paddy McGill became too familiar with poison oak near the Santa Ana River.
November 20, 1920. The SS California 28-member band played in Riverside. Nine of the players were former Sherman Institute bandsmen.