hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:12:15 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information

Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Top Left Corner

Top Right Corner

Top Right Corner
Home Top English | Français Sitemap Search Partners Help
Home Bottom
  • Home
  • Land of Opportunity
  • Settlement
  • Rural Life
  • Links
  • Resources
  • Contact Us!
  • Heritage Community Foundation
  • Heritage Community Foundation Logo

The Heritage Trails are presented courtesy of CKUA Radio Network and Cheryl Croucher

CKUA Radio Network logo

Visit Alberta Source!

Government of Alberta

Government of Canada


Cottage Schools

Listen to this Heritage Trail

In the years immediately before World War I, the economic boom attracted people from across Canada to Alberta. According to historian Dorothy Field, one consequence of the population explosion was a lack of schools for all the children who came along.

There hadn't been sufficient planning for this eventuality, so all of a sudden it was necessary to build a large number of schoolrooms, and cottage schools were the result

They were called cottage schools because they were intended to be small and temporary, much like a summer cottage.

And they were of light wood construction, and generally had the air about them of being somewhat rustic. They were two stories with, generally, a porch across the front, one or two classrooms on each floor and a hip roof. They were quite small and actually looked more like a house than a school.

The cottage schools were only intended to be used until something more substantial could be built to replace them. But some took on a life of their own, and still survive. One is the cottage school in North Red Deer.

The cottage school in North Red Deer was built in 1911 and opened in February 1912. It had 32 pupils and had been designed by a local architect, Julian Sharmon, who is also responsible for a number of other buildings in Red Deer.
It was not until the 1930s that electricity was installed in the school, and in the 1950s, it was finally hooked up to running water. It continued to be used as an auxiliary classroom space until the 1960s.

The cottage school of North Red Deer is now a registered historic resource and was restored by the 75th Anniversary Committee of North Red Deer.

On the Heritage Trail,

I'm Cheryl Croucher.

Close this window

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.