An educational history project in partnership with School District # 5

Pinewood School Cranbrook
Pinewood School Cranbrook

The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History has partnered with School District #5 to research and assemble a series of web sites investigating the history of education in East Kootenay. We have agreed to locate, collect, scan and return all photographs, documents, publications, crests and other memorabilia relating to school events, staff and students. If people or businesses holding such items would contact their local school principal and leave the items at the school, the School District will forward them to Cranbrook where they can be processed and returned. We do not intend to keep any of these items. If you need more particulars please contact Anna Majkowski by e-mail at Anna.Maj@basininstitute.org.

School and the Community

We are interested in things that evoke memories of what school was like and how it tied into the larger community. This would include photos of people schools were named after, such as T.M. Roberts or Isabella Dicken. Programmes from past dramatic events, sports trophies, club crests, school publications, photos of teachers and school buildings - all these things (and much more) will help to assemble an understanding of how schools and their communities were linked together.

Inside Mount Baker High School 1951
Inside Mount Baker High School 1951

Schools help to build citizens. We are interested in where the students from Fort Steele, Moyie or Jaffray ended up, what they eventually did and how their education assisted them. We are also interested in who served on School Boards, who coached sports and drama competitions, and who the champions of education were in each community.

Scope of the Project

We are looking at all the communities included historically in School Districts #1 and #2, now merged as School District #5. So, this includes Yahk, Moyie, Lumberton, Cranbrook, Fort Steele, Jaffray, Baynes Lake, Waldo, Grasmere, Elko, Fernie, Hosmer, Sparwood, Michel, Natal and Elkford. More schools such as the one at Letcher's Camp on Gold Creek will undoubtedly turn up. We need your assistance to make this an inclusive history that we can all be proud of.

Please either contact us directly at info@basininstitute.org (telephone is 250-489-9150) or through your local school.

Schools are something we all have in common. Each of us has been shaped and influenced by our school experiences. Please help us gather this history which is quickly vanishing. 'A Legacy of Learning' will let us make it widely available on the internet.

You can help! Contact us please
and visit www.basininstitute.org
to watch this project develop.

Legacy of Learning: Donors and Sponsors

This is a fantastic project, therefore the list of Donors and Sponsors is large. Originating with a request from School Trustee Chris Johns, "A Legacy of Learning" soon developed legs of its own. We have been inundated with donations of material (with more to come we hope), and have likewise been blessed with talented volunteers.

At the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History we are always scrambling to find sufficient financial resources to make these projects happen. With "A Legacy of Learning" a combination of provincial/federal funding through the Ministry of Social Development and community grants have provided the core funding in the first year. As well, an unprecedented number of individual, family and institutional membership purchases have enabled us to accomplish some of the technical upgrades necessary to move the project forward.

We are now taking this project into a second year of development, moving deeper into the history of the 40+ communities and 80+ schools that are the subjects of this project.

This page will continue to change, reflecting the growth of this exciting undertaking. Please do not hesitate to help with materials, financial resources, or by using the website features to identify people and events in the photographs. This project relies on community interaction.

School District 5
School District 5
British Columbia Retired Teachers' Association
British Columbia Retired Teachers' Association

Donors and Sponsors

  • Overall Project:
    • School District No: 5
    • Ministry of Social Development
    • B.C. Retired Teachers' Association
    • Cranbrook Retired Teachers' Association
    • Elk Valley Retired Teachers' Association
    • Columbia Basin Trust
    • Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance
    • City of Cranbrook
    • City of Fernie
    • District of Sparwood
    • Electoral Area A
    • Electoral Area B
    • Electoral Area C
    • David Humphrey
    • Gert De Groot
    • Sheila Moore
  • Bull River
    • Steve Cassidy
  • Cranbrook
    • Judy Beaulac
    • Marion Hess
    • Larry Belzak
    • Maureen Quinn
    • Minadora Benedik
    • Elineor Skailes
    • Delamont Jewellers
    • Gordon Walmsley
    • Diana Fitzpatrick
    • Paul Knipe
    • Lynn Christianson Downey
    • Frances Allen
    • Kathy Smith
    • Marvin 'Skip' Fennessey
  • Elkford
    • Stephen Fairbairn
  • Fernie
    • Lynda Bird
    • Rose Watson
  • Hosmer
    • Ron Beamish
    • Rose Watson
  • Jaffray
    • Jack Sandberg
  • South Country
    • Jack Sandberg
  • Sparwood
    • Bev and Peter Bellina
    • Frank Sopko
  • Yahk
    • Roy Johnson
    • Jennifer Krotz

List of School Communities and Schools

  • Baynes Lake (est. 1908)
  • Big Sand Creek
  • Bull River
    • Bull River Townsite
    • Bull River Bridge
  • Caithness
  • Carbonado (est. 1908)
  • Coal Creek (Fernie)
  • Cokato
  • Corbin
  • Cranbrook (May 1909 fire destroyed school - principal resigned - accommodations in rink)
    • Amy Woodland Elementary (1958- )
    • Cranbrook Central School (divisions added 1908)(also new brick school being erected)(one teacher added 1909)(new principal 1909)(another Division added 1911)(1922 two teachers added) (1922 4 classes put on "double-shift" plan - building)
    • Cranbrook High School
    • Gordon Terrace Elementary
    • Highlands Elementary
    • Kootenay Orchards (opened 1914 with 22 students)
    • Kootenay Orchards #1
    • Kootenay Orchards #2
    • Kootenay Orchards Elementary
    • Laurie Junior High
    • Laurie Middle School
    • Manual Training School
    • Mount Baker Secondary
    • Muriel Baxter
    • Parkland Junior High
    • Parkland Middle School
    • Pinewood Elementary
    • South Ward School
    • Steeples Elementary
    • T.M. Roberts Elementary
  • Crowsnest (opened 1914)
  • Curzon (closed 1922 insufficient pupils)
  • Dorr
  • Eastport
  • Elk Bridge
  • Elkford
    • Elkford Elementary [trailer, etc.]
    • Elkford Secondary
    • Rocky Mountain Elementary
  • Elko
  • Elkmouth (1906 opened Assisted school)
  • Elk Prairie
  • Fernie
    • Fernie Annex School
    • Fernie Public School (1900-1908) (disastrous 1908 fire)
    • Fernie Central School (1910-1998)(new brick school being erected)(3 teachers added 1909)(new principal 1909)(another Division added 1911) (1922 six classes put on "double-shift" plan - building)
    • Fernie Secondary
    • Isabella Dicken Elementary
    • Max Turyk Elementary
    • Ridgemont/C.L. Salvador Elementary
    • West Fernie School
  • Flagstone (new school recommended 1909)(opened September 1911)
  • Fort Steele
  • Galloway
  • Gateway, West
  • Gold Creek
  • Grasmere
    • McGuire School
  • Hanbury
  • Hosmer
    • Hosmer 1907 (Assisted school)
    • Hosmer 1909 (one teacher added 1909)
    • Hosmer 1934
  • Hurlingham Estates
    • Hurlingham Log School (1931-1934)
  • Jaffray (new school being erected 1908)
    • Jaffray Elementary School
    • Jaffray Middle School
  • Kimberley (extra room added 1922)
    • Meadowbrook
    • North Star Mine
    • School No. 1
    • School No. 2
    • Sullivan School
  • Kingsgate
  • Loco (opened in 1914)
  • Lumberton
  • Manistee
  • Marysville (one-room school built 1906)
  • Mayook
  • McGuire (1922 now Grasmere - built new school)
  • Michel
    • Michel Public School(1904-1928) (divisions added 1908)(new school being erected 1908 - maybe Natal) (2 four-room schools crowded, dilapidated)
    • Michel Natal Central School (1928-1954)
  • Morrissey (re-appears 1914)
  • Morrissey Mines
  • Moyase (opened 1914)
  • Moyie
  • Natal (or New Michel) (1903 New Michel school site entered into Public Schools Act)
    • Natal School (1909-1928)
  • Newgate
    • Hurlingham combined into Newgate School
  • Roosville (opened 1909) (1922 re-opened after 2 year closure)
  • Ryan
  • Sheep Creek School
  • Skookumchuck
    • Larchmont (1928)
  • Sparwood
    • Frank J. Mitchell Elementary
    • Lower Elk Valley School (Volpatti property) - possibly Elk Bridge?
    • Mountain View Elementary
    • Sparwood Secondary School
    • Upper Elk Valley School (airport) - possibly Elk Prairie?
  • Ta-Ta Creek
  • Tobacco Plains
  • Waldo (new school opened 1907)
  • Wanklyn
  • Wardner (extra room added 1922)
  • Wasa (1906 opened Assisted School)
  • Wattsburg (opened 1909)
  • Wycliffe (1906 opened Assisted School)
  • Yahk (extra room added 1922)