4315 Wright Street, Abbotsford, British Columbia, V2S, Canada
Links and documents
1907/01/01 to 1908/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Clayburn School is a wood-frame, one-storey plus basement school house with a central entrance and two large gabled extensions on the front facade. It is located in the village of Clayburn, on the west side of Sumas Mountain, in relative proximity to the other early principal structures in the village, including Clayburn Church.
Located within the Village of Clayburn , British Columbia's first company town, Clayburn School is symbolic of early life in the village and the establishment of services required for the families who settled here. The village and brick plant were founded in 1905 by Charles Maclure, son of John Maclure, a former Royal Engineer who settled on a government land grant west of Clayburn. Company towns provided housing and services in order to sustain a productive workforce in what were usually isolated conditions. The plant operated in Clayburn until the 1930s, when it was relocated and most of the original residents moved away.
Clayburn School is of heritage value as one of the earliest structures in Clayburn Village, with the first section being built in 1907-08. Representative of early twentieth century school house design, the Clayburn School was built on a simple rectangular plan with a hipped roof, with banked windows on the side elevation. Originally built as a one-room school house, Clayburn School was later enlarged, doubling the size of school; the building was also raised and a full basement was added.
The standardized design reflects the central role of the provincial government in setting educational standards, and the reliance of local school boards on the province's assistance. The original portion of Clayburn School was constructed by prominent Fraser Valley contractor Robert Harvey Brock (1868-1947), following the standards of British Columbia public school architecture laid out by the Provincial Department of Lands and Works, which provided the plans and specified the orientation of the building. The banked windows allowed abundant natural light but also sufficient wall space for large blackboards.
Clayburn School is also significant for its continuing role in the community. During the Second World War, the school served as a community hall, then was used again as a school until 1983, when it was rezoned to residential use. The Clayburn Village Community Society purchased it in 1991, and has been responsible for its ongoing restoration. Today it continues to be used for community purposes and also houses the Society's collection of artifacts and photos, acting as an informal museum that interprets local history and the nature of early education in the village.
Source: City of Abbotsford
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Clayburn School include its:
- original location, near other historic Clayburn structures
- institutional form, scale and massing as expressed by its one-storey, symmetrical rectangular plan with central entry and rectangular front elevation extensions; and raised basement
- wood-frame construction with lapped wooden siding and cornerboards
- cedar shingled, hipped roof; gabled roofs on the front extensions; closed eaves
- exterior features such as the enclosed, central front entrance; exterior basement entrances; and open rear entrance porch with gabled roof; and buff brick chimney
- variety of wooden-sash windows, including: double-hung 2-over-2 front elevation windows; multiple-assembly double-hung 6-over-6 side elevation windows; fixed sash basement windows (four and six-paned) with hopper transom lights (two and three-paned); and three and six-paned fixed sash basement windows
- interior features such as tongue-and-groove clad ceiling and walls in porch extension; tongue-and-groove wainscoting in the schoolrooms; and associated fixtures such as blackboards
- associated landscape features such as an adjacent creek and grassed side and rear yards.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Civic Space
- One-Room School
Architect / Designer
Provincial Department of Lands and Works
Robert Harvey Brock
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Abbotsford
Cross-Reference to Collection