Stettler’s 1911 school second to none in Alberta

Students from around district eager to attend large brick schoolhouse

By Carson Ellis

Back when I went to school (which is much longer in reality than it often feels in my mind) and more specifically junior high, there was a large mural in the front entry of the building of the former school that had once sat on that spot. I always liked the mural. It was a bright and colourful image that towered over the small seating area just off of the school library. I always wondered what that building was like. That was just one of the many casual interests in history that slowly festered in my mind until decades later when I started actually looking into things.

Stettler grew rapidly for many years. One of the many problems this caused was that finding a place to educate the children of the community required constant juggling of locations. Classes were taught in various locations when available, including churches and local businesses. A hopeful fix for this came in 1907 with the construction of a four-room schoolhouse. The approximate $4,000 school quickly proved inadequate and soon the overflow was being juggled from one location to another again.

By 1910, a larger brick schoolhouse was under construction in hopes of centralizing the town’s education system once and for all.

The three-storey structure, plus basement, was designed to hold up to 500 students. The basement had a boys’ play room and a girls’ playroom. The rooms were 24 x 32 feet, and had two large lavatories. The first floor had four spectacular classrooms that were 25 x 32 feet. A 15-foot-wide corridor ran the length of the building as well as a 12-foot corridor running crosswise. The second floor also contained four rooms of the same size as the first, and two corridors of the same description. Also on the second floor’s south side was a lady teachers’ room measuring 11 x 16 feet, while a principal’s room sat on the north end. The second floor also had the library and boardroom, which was over the front entrance and to the east side, as well as a cloakroom on the west side. The top floor housed a spacious assembly room measuring 70 x 30 feet in size.

The building was constructed of solid brick as well as brick partitions. The east-facing building was also trimmed with Calgary stone. The large building was considered quite enjoyable to look upon no matter from what side. The entire structure was wired for electric lights and operated an electric bell system. A duplex steam/hot air system was used to ventilate and heat the entire building.

The thoroughly modern structure was officially opened in March of 1911 by the province’s second Premier Arthur Sifton. At the time of its opening, the school was second to none in the province for its size.

Students from all around the district were eager to attend the modern facility that was considered a point of pride for the people of the town.

Just Posted

Easter visit!

Easter Bunny makes a visit to Points West Living

Scenes from the Stettler & District Music Festival

Don’t forget to check out the Grand Concert on April 28th

Happy Easter everyone!

Youngsters are excited for the holiday

UCP candidate Nate Horner triumphs in Drumheller-Stettler riding

Horner looking forward to moving ahead with UCP policies in the coming months

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

The man was among a party of three involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read