Linden is an unincorporated community located on Highway 26 about 10 miles east of Stockton. The first building in the area was built in 1850. A year earlier a teamster hauling freight to the gold mines determined that high ground in the area would be a good place for a freight station. The station was built, along with a public house for travelers. That establishment was given the name of Fifteen Mile House. In 1861 the county surveyor laid out a small town around the station and it was given the name of Linden, which remains today.
The Linden Unified School District was established in 1964. Prior to that, the area’s children were served by Linden High School and 8 elementary school districts (Bellota, Chartville, Everett, Glenwood, Grant, Linden, Waterloo, and Waverly) that sent their children to Linden High School. In 1962 the State initiated a campaign to unify the many small districts in California into larger unified school district. The thought was that there would be economies of scale. Under that plan, the elementary and high school districts serving Linden, Escalon, Ripon and Manteca were to be folded into one large school district. Opponents to this plan found a section of the Education Code that said that if the elementary district served by a high school agreed to unify with that high school district, the new unified district would have to be recognized. Using that information, residents of the elementary districts served by Linden High School agreed to become part of a unified district that used the boundaries of the high school district to define itself. In 1964 the Linden Unified School District was formed.
The newly-formed unified school district encompassed 160 square miles. There were 8 elementary schools serving 1370 students and one high school serving 477 students. Over the years Everett, Grant, Bellota and Chartville schools were closed. The others, along with the high school, have been modernized and expanded.
Today the district has four elementary school serving 1535 students, one high school serving 717 students and a continuation high school serving 57 students. Glenwood Elementary School and Waverly School are K-8 schools with enrollments between 350 and 400. Linden Elementary School is a K-4 school with an enrollment slightly over 450. Waterloo School is a 5-8 middle school with an enrollment of about 375. Linden High School is a comprehensive 9-12 high school and PRIDE is the continuation high school.