Former Cambridge Rural High School
Ancienne Cambridge Rural High School
Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building
Links and documents
1951/01/01 to 1952/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building is a Modern style institutional building constructed in 1951-1952 to serve as a consolidated high school. This step was of enormous social consequence to the area. Architecturally, the building is the basic consolidated school design of the period, few of which have survived in the province.
The Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with the educational history of the area and for its architecture.
Before the Cambridge Rural High School, opened in September 1952, young people in Waterborough, Jemseg, Cambridge and Codys as well as all the communities in between, had to leave home to attend high school. Those who could afford to do so boarded away from home to attend the County Grammar School at Gagetown or the schools in Sussex or Chipman, while others did high school correspondence courses with the assistance of former teachers in their communities. Countless people in this area would not have obtained a high school education had this school not been built. The Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building, still very recognizable as the former high school, had a tremendous influence on the lives of people in this area.
The building, located on the banks of beautiful Washademoak Lake, is a two-storey structure built into a side hill with a the lower level entered at ground level on the lake side of the building. The banks of windows and poured concrete foundation walls are indicative of educational architecture from this era. In the interior, two readily identifiable classrooms remain of the original five. One is the nicely appointed Council Chamber and the other on the lower level is used by the local pre-school playgroup. The original gymnasium/ auditorium that had a removable stage at one end currently houses the village fire truck. Most of the other rooms (washrooms, furnace room) are exactly as they were initially with typical 1950’s “school appropriate” materials.
The grounds are much the same as when this was a school with the exception of the ball field being replaced with the bandstand and space for public seating. It is a scenic location with trees near the perimeter and a good view of the lake.
Source: Queens County Heritage Archives – Cambridge-Narrows Historic Places files
The character-defining elements of the Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building include:
- rectangular two-storey massing, built into the hillside so that one storey is visible on the front façade and two full storeys visible at the rear;
- flat roof;
- banks of rectangular windows;
- inconspicuous wooden fire escape;
- concrete foundation;
- small open portico protecting front door.
- modified school layout;
- two identifiable classrooms;
- original gymnasium space housing the village fire truck;
- 1950’s utilities in places.
- circular asphalt driveway;
- concrete steps to veranda;
- landscape including trees and view of lake;
- flag pole in original location in front yard.
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Town or City Hall
- Primary or Secondary School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Queens County Heritage Archives, 69 Front Street, Gagetown, NB
Cross-Reference to Collection