Victoria School House (Little Stone School House)

Victoria School House PlaqueThe “Little Stone School House”, or Victoria School House was originally built in 1888. During 1887 plans were made by the Saskatoon Board of Trustees to acquire a permanent site for a school in Saskatoon. Five lots were secured for the purpose and by an Order-in-Council of July, 1888 the School District was authorized to borrow $1,200 for the purpose of building the school.

The school house was designed and constructed that same year by local stone mason Alexander Marr. The building consists of one large classroom, heated by a pot-bellied iron stove and an ante-room for clothes and equipment. It was originally located on the southwest corner of Broadway and 12th Street.

After the construction of the larger Victoria School in 1909 on the same site the one room school was no longer needed. Rather than tear down the historic building, W. P. Bate proposed that it be relocated. The local chapter of the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire took up the proposal, and within a short time the University offered a suitable place on campus for the little building. It was soon dismantled and rebuilt stone by stone at its present location.

At the completion of the relocation a brass plate was placed on the door of the school house. It reads:

The First
School House in Saskatoon
Built in 1887
And Moved to its Present Site, 1911
The Daughters of the Empire
And Presented by Them to the
University of Saskatchewan
To Commemorate the Coronation
of George V

The building was used for storage by the University until 1965 when, as a Centennial project, the Saskatoon Council of Women began the refurbishment of the school. The School reopened on 2 June 1967, the same year that it was declared a historical site. It was staffed by volunteers, and was open for school and public tours from late spring through the summer. The University took over the operation of the school in 1981.

A second plaque was put up in front of the site at the Official Re-Opening. It reads:

Original Victoria School
Erected 1887
Dismantled and Rebuilt on Present Location
By the Golden West Chapter I.O.D.E.
Restored and Re-Opened as an Historical Site
June 1, 1967
By the Saskatoon Council of Women