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.

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One of the girls from my work showed me this property so I arranged for permission to take photos and have a further look around.

The land owner thanked me for asking to enter the premises and advised me that we were free to take as many photos as we wanted, we were not allowed inside the house.

He told me that a few years back, the family of the original descendant came from B.C. to see the house as one of them was born there.  The family immigrated to Canada in 1926 and moved into the area in 1928.  They were born in Russia and lived in Siberia for a period of time as well before coming to the area where they settled down and farmed and raised their family.

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You can see from this photo that shows the side of the home that the roof is still relatively intact but the weight is starting to weigh on the walls of the home and it has some funky leans and curves.

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The inside of the home is starting to heave inwards and while there is a big staircase up the side of the home that is intact, the floor is not.

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Unfortunately the home has been used as a hang out and the kids have graffittied the wall, etc.  There is still various pieces of furniture inside and the rooms were painted different colors.  I like to assume that like kids these days, they picked the colors they wanted but Reg assured me it was likely that color of paint that was one sale at the time!