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Trail & Area
A school for the children of Tadanac residents was opened in 1897 with 37 pupils in attendance. It was called Smelter Hill. It was renamed Tadanac Elementary in 1919. In 1929, a new school was built on Kootenay Avenue at the entrance to the subdivision. It had two classrooms on the second floor and two playrooms on the main floor. It could accommodate up to ninety-five pupils.
The Tadanac Elementary School closed when enrollment dropped and the pupils transferred to Central School. The building has been demolished.
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A school was established in the small community of Columbia Park (now Rivervale) just north of Trail in 1911. The one room building was constructed with volunteer labour and 15 pupils attended in the first year. The enrollment held steady until 1916 when it dropped to 2 and the school closed. Pupils from this community then went to the Smelter Hill School. The school was briefly reopened for the 1921-22 school year and then closed permanently.
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The Trail Technical School was opened in 1923 with grades 9 to 11. Previously, pupils in these grades attended Central School. In 1926, grade 12 was added to the school. The initial enrollment was 90 pupils. In 1933, three classrooms were added as Trail’s population increased and in 1938-39, four more classrooms were added along with home economic labs, a library, lunchroom, auditorium and gymnasium.
Grades 7 and 8 were placed in the new school and the name changed to the Trail Junior High School. When the JL Crowe High School opened in 1952 grades 10-12 were transferred to that school. In 1961, grade 7 was moved to the elementary school leaving Trail Jr. with only grades 8 and 9.
The School was closed in 1983 and the pupils were transferred to the JL Crowe Secondary School. In 1985, the building was renovated to house the Trail Campus of Selkirk College, Trail Arts Council offices, an art gallery, a senior’s centre, Continuing Education and a community theatre, now called the Charles Bailey Theatre.
The Sunningdale Elementary School was constructed in 1949 at a cost of $63,000 to serve the growing neighbourhood. Students began classes in the school on November 21st in that year with Principal Gordon Frew and teachers Grace Frew (no relation) and Shirley Dabb. Initially the school had three classrooms and an activity room. Additional classrooms and a gymnasium were added in the late 1950’s. The school closed in 1997 due to declining enrollment and the pupils were transferred to the Laura J. Morrish Elementary School. The building was sold to a private party in 2013.
The JL Crowe High School was constructed in 1951 and was opened for classes in 1952. It provided instruction for grades 10 to 12 and Senior Matriculation (sometimes called grade 13). When the Trail Jr. High School closed in 1983, grades 8 and 9 were transferred to the Crowe. The school was replaced with a new building on the same site in 2010 and the original building was demolished.
The Crowe, as it is affectionately called, was named after James Lloyd Crowe, and active member of the School Board for many years. The school serves communities in the Greater Trail area.
East Trail’s first school was established in 1917. By 1924, when the area was subdivided for housing, it contained grades 1 to 8. As the area expanded in population the school was added too many times and became the largest elementary school in Trail. In 1925, Mrs. Laura J. Morrish joined the staff as Principal. She served in that capacity until retirement in 1951. For her dedication to the school and it pupils, the school was named the Laura J. Morrish Elementary School.
The school was closed and demolished in 1999 and the Trail Middle School was constructed on the same site. Pupils were transferred to the Glenmerry Elementary School.
The first school in the community of Trail Creek was established in 1897 in the Hanna Block on Bay Avenue. Forty pupils attended with a staff consisting of Principal Donald Dewar and teacher Mabel Bunting. This location soon proved to be too small for the growing town and in 1901 the community built a new school on Green Avenue on a bench above the town site with 115 pupils in attendance. A third teacher, Bessie Fraser was added to the staff. This school was replaced by Central School in 1912.
Central Elementary School was built in 1911 and opened in the fall of 1912. It replaced a small wooden school on the same site. The all brick structure contained eight classrooms for all grades. Full high school instruction was provided with a separate Principal and teachers. In 1916, and east wing was added and in 1918 a west wing was added. A fourth addition was constructed in 1930 on the west end of the school containing classrooms and a gymnasium. A new gymnasium was constructed on the east end of the school in 1955 and the 1930 gym was converted to a cafeteria. The school closed in 2000 and the pupils were transferred to the J L Webster Elementary School in Warfield. The school is now privately owned and used for residential purposes.
Casino is a small rural community south of Trail on the west side of the Columbia River. A school was established to serve the children in the area in 1938 with 14 pupils in attendance. The school was closed in June, 1957 and the pupils were transferred to Central School. The building is now used as a community hall for the residents of Casino.
The first record of a school in Annable, a residential area just west of Trail (now part of Warfield), was in 1912. It was a one room wooden structure located on Montcalm Road. It had 18 pupils in its first year of classes. It operated at this location until 1934 when a new and larger school for the area’s children was built on land donated by Joe and Mary Shutek on the highway from Trail to Rossland near Bingay Road. This school had two rooms and was also named Annable School.
In April 1949, this school was replaced by the James L. Webster Elementary School on property next door. The Annable School still stands and is used by School District No. 20 for its Trail area maintenance services. The James L. Webster Elementary School was named after a former member of the Provincial Legislature. This school remains in use and serves the communities of Warfield, Rivervale/Oasis, Genelle, Tadanac and West Trail.