As you can see, Safford Middle Magnet School (or should we say Junior High School), was very different. Our school has been standing for quite a while now! The school was originally built in 1888 and was called "The Plaza School."
In 1904, The Plaza School was officially renamed Safford School, in honor of former governor A.P.K. Safford. Years later, in 1917, the school burned to the ground. It was rebuilt within the year and was opened in time for the 1918-1919 school year. Governor Safford's picture still hangs in the school's lobby today!
Back in 1888 the biggest concern parents had was that their children might be subject to Apache raids. That's a lot different from what parents worry about now! The picture from 1919 and the one now are very different, as you can see. It had a wooden fence and old cars used to park on a street that used to exist in front of the school. There is no grass in the 1919 picture and now, it's just the opposite!
You're probably still wondering about the cars parked in front of the school, right? Well, it's true. That road (Fifth Avenue) passed in front of the main building and connected 13th Street to 14th Street. It was even part of the original Tucson parade route!
Now it's just a sidewalk that goes to other Safford buildings. Also the schoolyard has also changed. It now has a green grass field during the fall and spring instead of a dirt road.
Tucson Rodeo Parade passing in front of Safford School, 1960.
Those aren't the only things that have changed...Because in 1965 down-town Tucson had only one major building. That one building is now the blue building in the right picture. But today we have three major buildings. Quite a difference...
Armory Park, however, has always been there. You can't see the arch in the 'now' picture, but the trees clearly give it away in both pictures.
While the school has changed, so has the dress fashion. The girls used to dress in knee-high skirts and formal shirts, while the boys wore neat and formal clothing. Check out the way our students dressed back in 1903 in The Plaza School's Third Grade photo!
These awards come from all the way back to 1929 (and earlier) through now. That means that Safford traditionally has great athletes. Some of these trophies are from basketball, baseball, track (running), spelling contests, swimming, and other sports.
Some of our trophies were won by many of these players. Some sports are no longer played in TUSD middle schools, such as swimming, hockey, football, and cheerleading. However, a number of them continue to be played. For example, there are still soccer, track, basketball, and volleyball. If you would like to know more about those teams, please check out the Sports Page!
Here are some of Safford's students on a field trip and learning about horses. That's one of yesteryear's activities, but now we learn about all the new and current technology. Some classes we have now are computer skills, technology, meteorology, and lots more. Very different from what they learned back then...
There are still many more additions that will be included in future updates. Please check back soon! Also, if you previously attended Safford and would like to share old photos and/or stories with this web page, please e-mail us. We would LOVE to hear from you!