Object of the Day

Registration day at Balboa Elementary School

The caption on this image reads:  91-A-1 (111) B Parents with kids crossing street on registration day at Balboa Elementary School, Canal Zone.

Registration Day


Can you identify any of the children in this image?  Is that, in fact, Balboa Elementary School in the background?

If you would like to see this image in person, it will be on display in Smathers Room 100 during the Centennial Celebration!

But in the mean time, if there is any information you think we should add to this object’s record, please let us know in the comments section.


  • Robert Dixon Gordon

    The area where the kids are crossing the road decorated by those palm trees area, is called the Prado. they are on their way to building 710, former Balboa elementary school. I passed by at that specific area, lately, and I noticed that they are planting new grass, since the entire lawn is ruined at this time..Prior to my retirement from the canal protection division, whenever I was assigned to the administration building, I would view that area, using the cameras in the guard booth, and whenever I noticed individuals running on the lawn I would board my assigned vehicle, proceed to the area, and ask those individuals to leave the area since they just destroyed the lawn at the Prado. Former canal administrator Aleman Zubieta kept a close eye on that situation, since he paid good money to keep the grass on the lawn at the Prado, totally green. This picture was taken probably before I was born. However, the area looks the same at this time. (19/05/2014). Retired lead guard, canal protection division, PMA canal Commission(1999-PCC) / PMA canal authority. (ACP-2012)

    • Lance Terrell

      When I lived in Balboa in the 1940’s, everyone walked on the Prado, even to just cut across the streets. At the end of World War Ii, there was a huge military victory display on the Prado that stretched from Balboa Circle to the elementary school. There were all kinds of military vehicles on display, including tanks. There was an Army field kitchen that was making fresh bread and passing out slices to Zonian visitors. I explored this grand display from one end to the other after I got out of school that day. After all these displays were over with, I guess the grass was somewhat messed up. But it was no big deal back then. I guess if your Mr. Aleman was around then he would have had a heart attack.

  • bkarrer2013

    Those are the multi-family quarters on The Prado in Balboa CZ. The old BES is down the street to the left about two blocks away. Bob Karrer


    From: The Panama Canal Museum Collection at UF [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 8:04 AM To: bkarrer@comcast.net Subject: [New post] Registration day at Balboa Elementary School

    ufpcmcollection posted: “The caption on this image reads: 91-A-1 (111) B Parents with kids crossing street on registration day at Balboa Elementary School, Canal Zone. Can you identify any of the children in this image? Is that, in fact, Balboa Elementary Schoo”

  • Nina Brown Kosik

    The photographer’s back is to the elementary school & he is looking at the Prado, 4-family, 2-bedroom houses with basement parking.. The Balboa town center was at one end of the Prado, with the clubhouse, commissary & post office also bordering Stevens Circle. At the other end (site of photo) is another circle which has the elementary school on one side & (used to have the original construction day wooden police station which became a dormitory, & was removed so there is) nothing there now. At the head is Goethals Park with a slab Memorial reflecting the three locks & their flowing water; that Memorial, in turn, is at the foot of the steps to the Admin Bldg.

    The Prado is 100 years old, built in 1914 as a grand view from the Administration Building. It is still a magnificent view & well maintained by Panama.

    The first mother headed to the right (to school) with the three little girls looks like Mary (Mrs. Eldon (Ed)) Phelan with her two daughters, Sharon & Lisa (& an unknown). Her two sons, Charles (Chuck) & Jimmy are not pictured.

    UF has multiple photos of the views from the Admin Building,, Ancon or Sosa Hills which show this crosswalk & place it as where Carr & Barnaby Streets meet the Prado at the side of the elementary school. In later years, the police officer guard was replaced by non-police part time employees with special vests

    Panama takes very good care of the entire area.

    Nina Brown.Kosik

  • arteditor1

    My Dad was teaching Descriptive Geometry at the Junior College and I was a brand new Kindergartner at Balboa Elementary. Sadly, I don’t remember much about the school or my teacher, but I do remember the outside of the school as being brilliant white, and the lawn a deep, luscious green. A also have a memory of a tall flagpole in the middle of the lawn, but that is probably wrong. Things I do remember – clouds of parakeets landing in the calabash tree outside our screen porch, fire ants biting my brother while we played underneath the porch, lizards on our walls, spectacular lightning storms, an earthquake that rattled everybody, and the nice lady who gave me her chicken (because I admired it.) It was a great year! And, BTW, the Seattle Public Schools did not “recognize” the kindergarten credit, so I had to do it all over again when we got home. Yes, I “failed” Kindergarten!

  • Jim

    Jim Sweeney
    From reading the description at the bottom it seems that this is the crosswalk leading away from Balboa Elementary School. The picture was probably taken from the corner of the street with the elementary school building to the photographer’s right rear. Across the street are four family apartments on the Prado, which was a green grassy median that stretched from the Goethals Memorial at the foot of the steps leading up to Administration Hill and the Canal Headquarters Building. The apartment building on the right across the street from the kids and the palm lined Prado, was next to the street that was the entrance for the buses to Balboa High School. The kids and parents would be walking away from the front of the elementary school towards housing on the Prado, or towards the post office on Stevens Circle about four blocks away. The whole row of housing on the Prado had similar apartments to the ones seen across the street. At the end of the Prado to the left of Stevens Circle was the commissary and beyond that the theater and club house, the center of the Balboa townsite.

  • David Pileggi

    Does anyone remember Cathy Bannister who taught sixth grade at Balboa Elementary in the 60s? Does anyone know what happened to her? I for one owe her a great debt and I am sorry I never adequately thanked her for all that she did for me.

  • John (Jackie) Kelly

    When I went to kindergarten I lived in the second lower unit in the first house on Barnaby. I was in the morning class. One of the teachers was Miss Violet. From the photo, Barnaby would be in the extreme lower left and out of the picture.

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