History of SJEDS
In the early 1920’s, the San Jose Estates Development Company was in the midst of establishing a premier suburban residential community with plans for 100’s of homes, two hotels, a country club, a school, and shopping center. The administrative building for the development company existed on the present site of San Jose Episcopal. Evidence of the development company can still be seen today in the crest emblazoned on the front and back of the school with the monogram SJE. The project ended in 1926, with many of the buildings never coming to completion, when the anticipated real estate boom was not realized.
After the collapse of the San Jose Development Company the land and buildings were purchased by Alfred I. duPont. For a brief time the property housed a Roaring Twenties casino and even a gas station. In the late 1930′s, Alfred I. duPont’s widow, Mrs. Jessie Ball duPont, allowed some neighborhood Episcopalians to use the administration building for worship services and later as a chapel for students and it was known as Grace Chapel. Mrs. duPont donated the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida in 1941 and Grace Chapel became a parish. It 1971 the name was changed to San Jose Episcopal Church, giving the initials S.J.E. in the crest new meaning.
The Day School began as a mission of the church with a Kindergarten program and was established to provide excellent academics in a Christian environment. This tradition continues today and the school has expanded and grown to now serve students in grades Pre-K 3 through sixth grade.
In 1985, San Jose Episcopal Day School and San Jose Episcopal Church were honored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original building now forms the centerpiece of San Jose Episcopal Day School.