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Beaver Valley & Area

Montrose Elementary

Montrose Elementary

Until the Montrose Elementary School opened in 1952, pupils went by bus to the L J Morrish Elementary in Trail. Built on land donated by Len Simmons, the school opened three classrooms in January, 1952, with twenty-one pupils in grade 1 to 3 and twenty-two pupils in grades 4 to 6. Mr. S. (Buzz) Nutini was the first Principal and Miss Selma Frew was the primary teacher.

Grade 7 pupils ceased to be enrolled in the school in 1977 when they were transferred to the Beaver Valley Middle School in Fruitvale. In 1996, grade 6 pupils were also transferred to the BV Middle School. The Montrose Elementary was closed in June, 2003.

 

Beaver Valley Junior Secondary School

Beaver Valley Junior Secondary School

By the late 1960’s the old Fruitvale School on Laurie Street and the new elementary school on Columbia Gardens Road were filled to capacity. A new junior high school was built further along Columbia Gardens Road, and in October 1970, Principal Lloyd Wilkinson and staff supervised pupils from grades 8 through 10 as they carried their desks down the street to the new school.

In 1967, two grade 7 classes moved into the school, leaving one grade 7 class at Fruitvale Elementary. Subsequent years saw the grade configuration and the school’s name change numerous times as grade 7 pupils from Montrose Elementary were added and in 1989, grade 6 children were included in the school. While the school’s name officially changed to Valley Middle School for the 1993-94 school year, the final name of Beaver Valley Middle School was adopted in 1994. In June 2003, pupils in grades 6 through 8 saw Beaver Valley Middle School empty and close. Grades 6 and 7 pupils rejoined Fruitvale Elementary.

 

Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls

An acre of land was donated for the school by Mr. and Mrs. Boyd C. Affleck. Building plans from Victoria made provision for later expansion. The first school was built at least partly by volunteer labour. In the fall of 1939, pupils were taught in Hansen's log house, and after Christmas in Love's small Sunday school building. According to provincial records, this school opened in 1940.

Credit: BC Archives

 

Meadow Spur

Meadow Spur

This history is from the book “Kootenay Yesterdays”. “Clara Graham, who was the daughter of Samuel Barkley, moved with her family from Trail, crossing the Columbia River in a small rowboat and staying overnight at Bauer's stopping place at Sayward [now Columbia Gardens], the station on the Nelson & Fort Sheppard branch of the Great Northern Railway nearest to Trail, and arriving the next day at Meadow Spur in December 1900. The Barkley ranch was approximately one and a half miles east of Ross Spur and eight miles from Salmo. To attend school at first, the Barkley sisters walked into Salmo on the railway tracks on Sunday and boarded in the Pink house and walked back on Friday, picking up the mail at Erie on their way home. Their dog Shep was their guardian.”

A small log school was built on the old Salmo wagon road east of Barkley's ranch some time before 1908. The exact location causes some controversy today. The land for the second school was purchased in March 1918. It was situated on the upper side of the old Salmo wagon road. The school probably started in the fall of 1918 and ran until June 1941.

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Park Siding

Park Siding

The first school at Park Siding was built on John Potter Bell's property. The 16' by 18' log school was built by John P. Bell and an older gentleman in his employ, in the fall of 1912.

Mr. A.S. Ellis had the five Bell children and two McIntosh boys as his first pupils when the school opened. Miss Ida Ray Houston was the last teacher to teach in this school. They moved to the new school on January 20, 1922.

The second school at Park Siding was built on the one-acre lot purchased by the local school board in 1919. The building was larger than the first school and was of frame construction. There was a cloak room in front and a porch. A woodshed was built behind the school around 1925. In the twenty-four years of operation there were fourteen teachers. The school came to a sad ending due to a fire in the summer of 1947.

 

Fruitvale

Fruitvale

The first school in Fruitvale was opened in 1907. The teacher from 1907-1908 was Mr. Tom Henderson and there were nineteen girls and nine boys present.

In 1910, a school was opened on the site of the first primary school (where the Senior’s Manor is now). At this time the school also served as a community hall. In 1921 another room was added and basements under both rooms, where a coal furnace was installed.

By 1936 the school had again outgrown its quarters and two more rooms were added, with a small teachers' room which in turn was soon needed as a classroom. Soon even the basements were being used for classrooms.

Credit: BC Archives

Credit: BC Archives


Columbia Gardens

Columbia Gardens

The first school in what is now known as Columbia Gardens was built in 1898 when the area was called Columbia. Seven-eighths of an acre was purchased for a new school around 1910. The size of the school was 33' by 27' by 12' and was built in 1910 -1911.

From 1926 on, they had grades one to ten. The District paid approximately $600 toward salaries, the provincial government paid the rest. Students came from the Pend d'Oreille on horseback and from Waneta. Some walked five miles there and back each day. This school was used until 1954.

 

Nine Mile Creek

Nine Mile Creek

There were two schools built in the Pend d'Oreille valley. The first one was of log construction, built in 1913 by Art Buckley's dad Hugh, and Mr. Churches, with the assistance of neighbours. This school was situated on Churches' property on the lower side of the road. Art Buckley stated in an interview that his dad and Mr. Churches paid the first teacher, Daisy Holland, her wages of $1.00 per day plus her board.

The second school was of frame construction and situated close to the junction of Nine Mile Road and the old Pend d'Oreille Road. Art Buckley stated in an interview that the government built it around 1918. According to records, Miss V.C Adams taught from fall 1918 to June 1919. There were no listings again until the fall of 1931.

 

Waneta

Waneta

The earliest school in our area was the Waneta School, a 22' by 34' frame construction building on a one-acre lot, situated directly across the road from the Pend d'Oreille Cemetery [information obtained from Art Buckley interview]. It opened in September 1893 and was in operation (according to public school records in Victoria) until June 1897.

From an article by Clara Graham in Kootenay Yesterdays [The Alexander Nicolls Press, 1976]: "The school room at Waneta was the first to open in a Columbia River settlement south of Revelstoke, predating schools at Rossland and Trail."