South Fort George Schoolhouse - Prince George, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 53° 54.291 W 122° 44.099
10U E 517411 N 5972968
Quick Description: The first schoolhouse in Prince George, this building was a school for only three years until the city, then likely still a village, outgrew it.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/31/2019 1:00:41 AM
Waymark Code: WM111TN
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
Views: 2

Long Description:
The building was actually rented from a local businessman for $30.00 a month while it was used as a school. This might explain its unorthodox style, definitely not looking like your average pioneer era school. The little one room school opened in 1910, housing classes from kindergarten through grade 8.

In 1913 a new school was built and this building went on to become first a boxing gym, then a private residence. It was donated to the Fort George Museum in 1976 and today stands beside the Fort George Railway Station, the depot for the Fort George Railway, which uses a 1912 narrow gauge steam locomotive to pull tourists and visitors around Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park.


The South Fort George Schoolhouse, the first in the Prince George region, opened in 1910. The building was rented from Mr. Wiggins of the Northern Development Co. for $30.00 a month. It was a source of excitement and pride for the residents of South Fort George, despite the fact that on opening day they still did not have a qualified teacher. The first volunteer teacher lasted a week, the second a month. Mrs. A.B. Campbell was then hired and her first task was to change the unruly children into students. After one month of hard work the school began to make some progress. Mrs. Campbell used a cat-o'-nine-tails to discipline the class. Needless to say, it only took one encounter with discipline to make the children wish to avoid it.

In its first year, the school had 28 children enrolled, with 15 girls and 13 boys. However, the average daily attendance was 15 children. In 1911 another 10 children began attending the school, leading to an enrolment of 40 children, although average daily attendance remained at 15. Teachers were paid $90.00 a month to teach students from kindergarten through grade 8.

South Fort George School stood at the corner of Thapage Lane and Fourth Street, (Queensway). When a new schooi was built in 1913, an enterprising businessman rented the building using it as a boxing gym. The building eventually changed owners and was used as a home until the Weatherly Family donated it to the museum in 1976.

From the Historical Marker at the Schoolhouse

South Fort George School House
Located next to the Exploration place at 755 - 20th Avenue, the South Fort George School House was the first school building raised in South Fort George and in this part of British Columbia. The school house is a simple all-wood construction common in the early 20th century and opened in 1910 with 28 students. The building was eventually moved from its original location, but is still close to the South Fort George area and its previous site.

Historical Associations
The Building was used as the first school in South Fort George so it is one of the best examples of a school or the history of education in the area theme. The building is a simple all wood construction very common to the time (1910) and therefore is a very good example of typical building construction of the period.

Person/event: This is the first school building in South Fort George. It is associated with some very prominent people of the time. Mr. Cosgrove, the first Teacher, Mrs A.B. Campbell the first professional Teacher. The first school Board consisted of James Cowie, Joseph Bower, Mr. A.K. Bourchier (Chairman) and A.G. Hamilton (secretary) who was one of the founders of South Fort George townsite in 1906. The first students at the school were: Alex Bird, Eliza Bird, Harriet Duncan, Patrick Pierrot, Sallie Pierrot, Minnie Seymour, Aggie Seymour, Mary Halm, Edith Senior, Frank Bird, Clarence Burns, Evelyn Edwards, Albert Pierot, William Seymour, Sarah Seymour, Sophie Seymour, Phillip Halm Gladys Senior. The age rainge of the students was from 6 to 16 years old.

The building was originally owned by Mr. Wiggins of the Northern Development Co. It was subsequently owned by the Weatherly family who donated the building to the museum (now Exploration Place) in 1976.

Local Development: When the school opened it was recognized by the people of the time as a turning point in the history of the community as every city must have a school and this was the first. The time of the School, 1910, is a time when the idea of the railway coming to the area was starting to be generally accepted and speculation on a railway boom was just starting.

Aesthetic Design and Designer:
The visual look of the building could be describes as “quaint”. It has a flat roof and a corner entrance with wood siding that give the building a nostalgic look. The design has elements of early commercial buildings such as the corner entrance and a flat roof. It may have been originally built for commercial purposes as it was only rented as a school. The designer is not known at this time.

Functional Design: The Building was originally one room only with a very practical construction, which turned out to be sturdy and lasting. The building was approximately 15 x 30 feet in size. Heat was provided by a single wood burning stove which made use of a brick chimney.
From the Prince George Heritage Register

Photo goes Here

Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: The Parking Lot is right in front of the building

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Prince Geroge

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