By AJ Hicks
Docents arriving at the 1883 schoolhouse on West F Street Friday afternoon were dismayed to find the front gate swinging off its hinges and the padlock broken.
A neighbor also said that he had discovered an exterior faucet gushing water earlier that morning, flooding the alley to the side of the building.
The faucet had deliberately been turned to the max sometime after 10 p.m. Thursday night. By the time the neighbor noticed it, the water was so deep he had to wade through in boots to turn off the faucet.
The 130-year old schoolhouse, built by an immigrant English family in the late 19th century, is the oldest building in town and has been home to the Encinitas Historical Society since the mid-’80s.
When the society’s president, Alison Burns, went along to inspect the broken gate, forced lock and vandalized faucet, she also discovered that a heavy plastic warning sign, erected by the security company guarding the building, had been ripped off the wall and stolen.
Fearing that the one-room schoolhouse was the latest victim in a series of school-computer thefts, Burns said, “We don’t have any high-tech equipment in the building and we don’t keep any cash there. It’s a museum, with old photos and documents, certainly nothing of any worth beyond historical interest. I don’t know if this was the work of vandals or bored kids, but it’s a shame to wreck property that is essentially the city’s heritage.”