Our Little Red Schoolhouse’s History

Photo © Saanich Archives - 1980-001-012c
Photo © Saanich Archives – 1980-001-012c

The Strawberry Vale Schoolhouse, originally sited on Hastings St., was built in 1894 for $800.00. The schoolhouse is a classic example of the western Canadian “little red schoolhouse with white trim.”

The first teacher, until 1902, was Mr. T. Monk, who was paid $50.00 a month. Later years saw Mrs. Ethel Cummins, Mrs. Joan Salmon, and Mrs. Juanita Olsen as teachers of the children’s preschool program.

This heritage building has survived numerous moves, renovations and threats of closure through the dedication and tenacity of many generations of parents and community members. In 1951 the building was moved by Copley Brothers free of charge so that the new elementary school could be built. The Colquitz Co-operative Playgroup renovated the building and has used it ever since. Strawberry Vale Preschool was incorporated in its current form in January 1994 as the schoolhouse celebrated its 100th birthday. It is currently situated just across the field from its original site.

More details can be found at Canada’s Historic Places (historicplaces.ca).