BACK TO SCHOOL In 1909 students in Garnet Valley attended a school in their area. Their teacher was Miss Ballantyne. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

A century ago, Summerland had numerous small schools

Schools existed in Garnet Valley, Meadow Valley, Prairie Valley, Trout Creek and Summerland

More than a century ago, students Summerland and the surrounding areas attended small schools.

The school in Garnet Valley opened in 1907. It closed temporarily in 1911, reopened in 1913 and closed permanently in 1919. Miss Ballantyne (her first name is not known) was the first teacher at the school and Ruth Dale was the last.

The school was one of several schools in outlying areas around Summerland

Mineola, known today as Meadow Valley, was a lumber town 16 kilometres from Summerland. There were 10 students in the area.

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Eventually the area received some government funding in the amount of $150 which was put towards constructing a school. It was build by volunteers. Teachers at the school included: Ada Murray, Ms. Roadhouse, Ms. Caldwell, Ms. McLachlan, Mrs. Spears and Mrs. Lee. The school eventually shut down around 1923 when the mill closed.

Prairie Valley had a school from 1906 to 1911. Alva Elliot was the teacher.

The first school to open in Trout Creek was in 1906. It closed in 1911.

In 1916 there were enough children in Trout Creek to warrant having another school. When the home of the Brown family was vacated it became a school building in Trout Creek.

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In 1917 a new school facility was opened on Johnson Street. It was closed in 1922.

In the early 20th century, children in Summerland, children attended a small school located at the foot of what was know as Chinaman’s Gulch in the Lowertown area.

In addition the Summerland Supply Company store was used as a school for Grade 6 and 7 students. Later on principal J.C. Robson tried to persuade the government that the community needed a high school. His persistence finally led to the construction of a two room school which was built in 1909.

Two years later an elementary school was built which temporarily closed outlying schools.

In 1922 an eight room school was constructed for Grades 1-8. High school was taught in a four room school until the current high school (Summerland Secondary School) was built in 1951.

In 1948 the eight room elementary school formerly known as Summerland Elementary, was expanded to 12 rooms and renamed MacDonald in 1951. The new name recognized long time principal S.A. MacDonald. The school operated on Rosedale Avenue until 1999, when it was demolished.

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