San Rafael Military Academy closes.

June 6th, 1971

Time Node:  June 6, 1971 – SRMA (San Rafael Military Academy) closes

From:  History of San Rafael Private Schools by Jocelyn Moss

Jocelyn Moss, a longtime research librarian at the Marin History Museum and the Marin County Free Library.
Note:  There are 10 people in the United States named Jocelyn Moss, one is an artist; the Jocyln Moss who wrote this, and other history books and tracts, seems quite interesting.  However, there seems to be very little on the web about her, which is a shame and perhaps can be corrected.

“The one very special day when the boys showed off all they had learned at Mount Tamalpais Military Academy came in May on Alumni day.  The cadets performed military maneuvers and athletic competitions for alumni, friends and family. Later there was a full dress review, dinner and then a dance.

The school was still owned by Mrs. Crosby after Arthur Crosby’s death. In 1925 the school was sold to A.L. Stewart, a local businessman.  At that time the school’s name was changed to the San Rafael Military Academy.

Other changes came about rapidly. Dormitories on Mare Island were purchased from the U.S. government and floated to San Rafael on barges.  They were rolled up Fifth Street and became living quarters for the students of San Rafael Military Academy. They replaced the old Tamalpais Hotel building which was known to be a fire trap.

The administration building was erected in 1926 and a swimming pool was added in 1930.  A gymnasium was built in 1932, the same year that the football field was prepared.  The first football game played on that field was on September 9, 1932, between San Rafael Military Academy and St. Vincent’s of Vallejo.

When Mr. Stewart died in 1950, a nonprofit organization was formed to continue the school. A new Board of Directors was gathered with Henry E. Picard as President. In 1959 it was decided that the Episcopal Diocese of California should take over the school.

Finally, it was realized that a military school was no longer a viable institution and the San Rafael Military Academy could no longer continue.  There was a final drive among loyal alumni and parents to try to keep the school open, but all of the money had to be returned when the school closed in June, 1971.”

Click on the photograph to enlarge.  This picture is of the original Barracks at the San Rafael Military Academy which was originally the Tamalpais Hotel building which was considered to be a known fire trap.  This structure was replaced circa 1925 / 1926 with new military type barracks buildings from Mare Island (see above).

Donald Clayton lived in the “Company ‘B'” barracks (dormitory) from January through June of 1963.

Others attending SRMA include Raymond Burr (as “Perry Mason”), Hollywood film director Sam Peckinpah and Dick Sargent (of “Bewitched”).

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