The Kimberley District Heritage Society (KDHS) has applied to the CBT Built Heritage Program to acquire funding to paint the exterior of the Old Marysville School House located beside Marysville Elementary. The society has also asked City Council for a letter of support with regards to their application.
At a recent City Council Meeting, Council approved the letter of support. Marie Stang of the KDHS says that they have applied for $8353 in grant funding for the project. If it is approved, the project will take place in July/August of this year.
The CBT Built Heritage Program was recently established by Columbia Basin Trust to support the Basin’s heritage values. The Trust allocated $6.15 million for a large capital grants program for built heritage and $600,000 for a Heritage Support Program to support a broad range of heritage organizations.
Stang explained in a letter to Council that the society was formed in 1978, and has operated the Kimberley Heritage Museum since May 1980.
“The Old Marysville Schoolhouse is the oldest structure remaining from the Village of Marysville, which amalgamated with the City of Kimberley in 1968,” wrote Stang. “Very little alteration has been done to the building, with the interior being restored to its early use as a one-room school, with the exterior retaining its original figures.”
She went on to say that the building has had a rich history, including being purchased by the Catholic Church in 1952.
In 1989 the Catholic Church sold the property, and the new owner was not interested in keeping the building, explained Stang. At that time, Lil Corriveau, who taught in the one room school from 1942 to 1945, contacted the property owner with the proposition of obtaining the schoolhouse and moving it.
“After a bit of fundraising and assistance from the Kimberley Retired Teachers Association, the building was acquired and moved to the grounds of the present Marysville Elementary school,” said Stang.
The restoration of the building began in 1993, and the Kimberley Retired Teachers Association approached the KDHS in 1994 to take the school into its collection in order to preserve it for future generations.
“This building began its service to the community as a school from 1910 to 1949,” Stang said. “The school was the site of learning and many activities, such as Christmas pageants by the children. In its second half of service to the community it was a church from 1952 to 1982. It was the site of many occasions, both happy and sad.”
The school has been furnished with 30 wooden desks, a teacher’s desk, books, chalkboards, maps and a restored pump organ. The school is currently open to the public on select dates and is presently used by school classes for educational purposes.