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Voice: The straight facts on the old Heber college

October 26, 2001

During the last six months there have been at least four articles in this newspaper about a college in Heber. Each one has had many mistakes.

I am here to set the record straight. In the middle 1980s I had some questions about the college. No one, even at the Historical Society, had much information about it, not even in our local history books. So I took about five years researching it. I used our local papers from 1901 to 1920. The Secretary of State's office in Sacramento was used, along with the Thurston directory (which is now the Polk directory). Also, much time was spent at Chicago Title researching land sales.

In the near future, I will be writing a detailed history of the college and it will be available locally. Here, I just want to set some of the things that have been said incorrectly straight.

Imperial Valley Collegiate Institute (that's what it was called initially) had its opening-day exercises in the dining room of the just-completed new Heber hotel Oct. 14, 1908, not in the grand structure with pillars that still stands in Heber. School was held in the new hotel for about one week until they moved to their first-year permanent location in the "old" Heber hotel.

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The first year ended with a commencement ceremony (no graduates) May 11, 1909. The second year started at IVCI in the "old" hotel Sept. 22, 1909. Their new administration building (yes, the one with the pillars) was completed and moved into during January of 1910. It then became the Heber Collegiate Institute, or HCI.

The third and final year started Sept. 20, 1910, and concluded April 28, 1911. The name of its annual was called "The Green and White."

In closing, I would like everyone in the reading range of this newspaper to know the soon-to-be city of Heber has a young resident named Jose Luis Perdomo Jr., who for at least two years has been very involved in the preservation of the building that once housed HCI. By the way, HCI gave the building and property to the Heber School District for $10 in 1915.

DAVID CASON

El Centro

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