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General Store Site 12294 Harris Road Pitt Meadows, B.C.

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Woven Through Time - Education,

Woven Through Time - Education

Number One Schoolhouse

The sixth layer in the story of Pitt Meadows is schools. Every single person knows what it was like for them to go to school. Be it a place that you thrived in, or a place that you couldn’t wait to be rid of, school and our experience connects all of us. Each student who walks through those classroom doors adds another layer to the story of Pitt Meadows.


In 1909 the first school was built at the corner of Hammond and Harris roads.  This was five years before the incorporation of Pitt Meadows as a municipality.  This simple one-room structure with no electricity or indoor plumbing is gratefully received as it means children no longer must make their way to Maple Ridge Elementary in Hammond. Children had previously walked about four miles to school by a trail, to the old Maple Ridge school on Third Avenue, just north of River Road. 

Before World War I, a French-Canadian group bought land in the No. 2 Area in what was then known as the Archbishop's Subdivision Plan 2933.  This necessitated the building of a second school on Harris Road north, about opposite McNeil Road. This school was known as the No. 2 School (Richardson School).  In 1953 this building was sold to the Dutch Christian Reformed church for use as a school.

By the 1930's the district had grown, so that the schools were under one principal, and this was known as a Superior School, grades 1-10. Those pupils in grades above this were sent by bus to Maple Ridge High School. 

A second building with two rooms was built on the same property as the No. 1 School, to house senior grades. Two single-room buildings had also been added, one on the north side of Advent Road, close to Harris and the deafening sound of the trains and the other on the east side of Harris North, just north of Dewdney Trunk Road. This made six classrooms in all the buildings.

The basement part of No. 1 School became a shop in which manual training was taught and sewing was taught as home economics around 1943.  The very first manual training had been taught in the garage behind Paul Murray's home around 1924.

Following the plan given in Maxwell Cameron's Report of 1944, the reorganization of School Districts was essential to equalize the school taxes, meet wage trends and modernization of school equipment.  So, in 1945 when the Department of Education created new school districts, Pitt Meadows became part of the Maple Ridge School District #42.  It then had a graded school with rooms in three locations and in four buildings.  Grades 7-12 were sent to the main high school in Maple Ridge.

Then in 1953 Pitt Meadows Elementary, a five-roomed unit with an activity room, was built on the west side of Harris on what is now 119th Avenue.  In 1955 two more rooms were added and in 1958 another two rooms, making it the present nine-roomed school. The first principal of the school was Mrs. E. M. McDermott.  Meadowland Elementary was opened in 1961 with two rooms, and its principal, Ken Fiddes.  In 1962 two more rooms were added and in 1964 a fifth room and an activity room with a stage were added.  Pitt Meadows Secondary School with 13 rooms, activity room and stage was opened in 1961 to serve students from Pitt Meadows and Hammond areas. 

The Advent Road building has long since been sold as housing.  The building at Harris and McNeil has been transformed into a very attractive home.  The building on Harris just north of Dewdney has also become a home. The single old original building of 1909 was sold to the Lions Club and with material from it, they built at least a part of their clubhouse on Harris Road. The two-roomed building at Harris and Hammond was being remodelled for use as a primary building in 1957 when it mysteriously burned.  So ends the tale of the original buildings.  The property at Harris and Hammond is now used as a playground, sponsored by the Lion's Club.


Currently, in Pitt Meadows, the schools are Pitt Meadows Elementary, Pitt Meadows Secondary, Edith McDermott Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, and Davie Jones Elementary.


Discover the other layers of Pitt Meadows.