History of Early Kimberley Schools

Building of New Schools

After World War I, metal prices collapsed. However, CM&S and Kimberley continued along. In fact by 1920, there were too many students for the one room school in Kimberley. Classes ran in the school and at the Ontario Hotel while a new two room school was being built – Central School. The old one room school house was moved onto the Central School lot which is where Watkins School is now. The old school was used as a music room and extra classroom.

Central School would be expanded over the years. The school would have a total of 5 sections each containing 2 classrooms for a total of 10 classrooms. The school would be in use until 1948 when Watkins school was built in its place.

In 1922, a school was opened at Sullivan Hill also known locally as Top Mine. The school would run until 1933 when CM&S suspended mining operations there.

Prior to 1925 Kimberley area students who wished to attend high school had to travel to Cranbrook. In 1925, the first Kimberley High School opened.

In the 1920s, CM&S finally solved the Sullivan ore and developed a differential flotation process. CM&S built a concentrator on a hill which became known as Concentrator Hill. Workers were housed in Chapman Camp. The first school in Chapman Camp opened in 1926. The school burnt down in 1951 and was replaced in 1954.

In 1928, the first section of McKim School built. It would add several additions. The first in 1935. A major addition in 1949 would add the auditorium. Blarchmont’s first school opened in 1944 in a building that had been moved from Lumberton. It would have an addition added in 1956.

In 1951, CM&S built a fertilizer plant in Marysville. This provided more employment in the area. As well, the post war baby boom saw Kimberley growing. Lindsay Park School was built in 1954. In 1957 Selkirk High School was built. A major fire at Selkirk in 1971 led to major renovations and additions to the school.

Central School
Central School (on front of photo, states Kimberley School) Kimberley, BC. See text for name list. Teacher Al Robewrtson in…
Central School Hockey Rink
Playing hockey on skating rink at Central School, Kimberley, BC.
Top Mine School
Grade 1 class, with teacher Ruth Fox, Kimberley, BC. No name list provided.
Kimberley High School
circa 1940.
Blarchmont Elementary School
Exterior view of Blarchmont Elementary School, Kimberley, BC.
McKim School
shortly after construction, Kimberley, BC. This was the Kimberley High School.
Lindsay Park School
Kimberley BC.
Selkirk School
Kimberley BC.