HOLA SCHOOL

Nestled in the oak-studded hills, Hola School District, (Hola is Icelandic for hills) was formed in 1897 and the school and a four-team stable was built that spring on land bought from the Crown for $3.00.  The district borrowed $495 from Mr. Maulson and Mr. Olafson built the school.  Classes started in June of that year and Mr. Thorne was the first teacher whom had 53 students enrolled all at various ages.

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The school suffered some fire damage in 1923 and the floor had to be rebuilt.  During the same decade, 4 side windows were also installed on the West side and two “piano” windows were installed on the East side of the school.  In 1929 a larger basement was dug out and cemented and which allowed for a passage to the outside.  This was a welcome addition for the young boys who feared ghosts would jump out of the trap doors they were accustomed to using on dark mornings when they came to light the fire.

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Each November, the area would be crawling with men in white suits, deer hunting in the area.  Children were not allowed out for recess in the school yard and were encouraged to stay inside.  The surrounding hills were perfect entertainment in the winter for skiing and tobogganing.  The spring run off was just as exciting with lots mini rivers and waterfalls that rushed towards the lake about a half a mile North of the school.

On June 30, 1953 only 8 students remained enrolled at the school and nine were needed to receive a grant to operate the school.

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The building sits behind a commemorative cairn which was erected on June 28, 1987.

LOOK JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER

I have driven by this place over and over and over again.  You see, there is something else at this location that likely grabs the attention of many when they drive by.  Yesterday as the sun was setting, I was trying to get the perfect sunset shot so I drove down this road and wow, jackpot.

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I wanted to caputure what I found and I will definately be going back to shoot all of the glorious buildings on this old farmstead.  In the meantime I will be making the proper arrangements to locate and speak to the owner and get back to it.

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Goes to show that you never know what is in that clump of trees!

Today I had every intention of getting out again to knock off another 5 or 6 properties off my list but the sky wasn’t to my liking and its given me a chance to update, research and orgainze the finds I found yesterday.

TURNED AROUND

On this day of exploring, I was in new territory.  I had vistited a home on my to-do list and then attempted to get into another but didn’t want to distrub the crop in the field and decided to come back in the Fall.

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On our way home, hubby (aka Eagle eyes) took a turn of the main highway to investigate a roof in the distance.  As we carried on we came across this old place.

Driving away from what I think will be a real gem, once I get permission, I got all turned around and lost track of the road numbers.  Then we stumbled across this.

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I admit, I don’t like when I can’t find some sort of history on the property.  It feels like the job is incomplete.  Anything I can find doesn’t confirm who the actual land owner is or their life there.

 

 

 

ALMA SCHOOL

This school has been on my to see list for some time.  I was told that it was no longer there so a couple nights ago I wasn’t doing anything and thought I would go for a ride to check it out not expecting to find anything except a metal monument in its place.  Well low and behold, there it stood.

The Alma School District was established formally in July 1891, but wasn’t name until a year later by a student in the first class.

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A wood frame schoolhouse served as the first school house on the property and was used until 1905 when it was replaced by this one room brick structure, complete with full a basement and an oil-fueled furnace.

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The school closed in January 1961 and its remaining students then attended the Belmont Consolidated School.

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At the back of the property is what I will assume was the outhouse and a small storage building.  The yard is well maintained.

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There is extensive structural damage to the side wall of the school and the front entrance is blocked by a large pile of plaster, likely renovations carried out by the schools newest tenants.

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A wooden stud wall inside the school was built in an attempt to stabilize the structure. A monument stands next to the former school.

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There is a rickety staircase that leads up into the back of the school.  As I wasn’t feeling much like a risk-taker and didn’t venture inside. This is likely due to the large “enter at your own risk” sign stapled to the door frame and the fact that I didn’t feel like running from any rabid racoons.

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Among the teachers of Alma School were Alexander Tumoth (1890), Percy Brether (c1900), Jean Williamson (1948), Miss Munroe, Miss Tisdale, John Sutherland, Miss Donna McLean, Miss Anne Hawn, Miss Alice Embury, Mrs. Shirley Dubyts, Miss Irene Fitzpatrick, Miss McIntyre, Miss Marjorie Cleave, Miss Eva Croll, Ed Arndt, Miss Myrna Wray, Mr. P. Lougheed, K. M. Prowse, Miss Jean Cowell, Miss Pat Williams, Mr. McRae, Miss Evett, Miss Muriel Robinson, Miss Pinn, Miss Marion Lewis, Miss Jean Campbell, Miss M. Stintson, Mr. Johnson, Miss Anna McLean, Norman Smith, Miss Margaret Downey, Miss Ruth Watson, Miss Kinley, Miss Wall, Miss Mae Berry, Miss Harrower, Miss Katie Playfair, Henry Woods, Miss Murgatroid, Miss Shorthose, Miss Hazel Cunningham, Miss Valance, Miss Carvell, Miss Bailey, and Miss McGowan.

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I’m glad I didn’t take someone elses word and drove out to see what was there.  It was worth the drive and my fingers did eventually thaw out.