Metchosin School

The first Metchosin School (now the museum) was built in 1871 on land donated by John Witty. The first School trustees were Hans Helgesen, William Fisher and Edwin Rosman. The building was done by George Pears at a cost of three hundred dollars. Half of this was paid by the settlers and the other half by the Colonial government.

The School actually opened for instruction in March of 1872 with Mrs. Elizabeth (William) Fisher in charge. There were 10 children in attendance, seven girls and three boys. Mrs. Fisher taught for one year at that time and later for a four year period.

Metchosin School 1899
Metchosin School 1899

That little school sufficed until 1914 when the new building, which still stands high up from the ground, was erected. For one year in 1922 a second teacher was required and the little first school which had been moved back was called into use. It wasn’t until 1942 that a second classroom permanently opened and again the little school with a few alterations was used until 1949. At that time an army hut was procured and attached to the side of the main building. It contained washrooms and another classroom. A third teacher was required in the school year 1953-54 at which time the old school was put to use once more. When it finally closed its doors as a classroom it was believed to be the oldest school house still in use west of the Great Lakes.

During the 1960′s rooms were added to the low building at the back as required. It was in the 1970′s that the four room wing was added and the gymnasium greatly enlarged. As of November 1982 there were ten classes in Metchosin School. In addition there were three grade classes and two kindergarten classes in Hans Helgesen School, which was opened in 1969 to lessen the burden on Metchosin School.

Source: Footprints. Pioneer Families of the Metchosin District, Marion I. Helgesen editor