A Teacher’s Life

Metchosin’s first teacher Elizabeth Fisher lived with her two daughgters Emily, aged eight, and Edith, aged six, in the living quarters that had been provided at the rear of the building. Her two little boys stayed with their father and Mrs. Morris (grandmother) at Glen Lake. Every Saturday morning William Fisher saddled his horse and rode over the hills to take fresh provisions to his wife and daughters, returning late Sunday. The living quarters as seen in this 1899 photograph of the school was really no more than an attached shed. The school was heated by an open brick fireplace. The men of the district, when clearing land, were always alert to find a supply of suitable bark which they would haul to the school. About the turn of the century the fireplace was replaced by a wood-burning stove, for a more equal distribution of heat. Water was provide by a well close by.

Metchosin School 1899
Metchosin School 1899

Some of the other early teachers boarded with families in the district. Miss Sarah Robinson taught at Metchosin School in 1899 and lived with the Duke family. She accompanied the Duke children, Alfred and Annie to and from school, a three mile walk twice a day. Sometimes Thomas Duke would take them by boat across the channel at Witty’s Lagoon, and so the walk was shortened.

Source: The First Hundred Years Metchosin Elementary School 1872-1972, Marion I. Helegesen

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