School History

Remember When....

“The first school in this area (Highland Creek) was a small square plank

building erected in 832 on the Fishery Road, now Colonel Danforth Trail.

In 1847 the area became SS 7 and a single frame school was built at the top

of the west hill on the Kingston Road to serve both West Hill and Highland


“In 1870 this was replaced by a school in the Valley, which was attended b

students of both communities until 1918, when the present Highland Creek

School was opened in September.”

This is the inscription on the plaque at the front of the school.

The residents of Highland Creek are perhaps the strongest historical

community group in the borough, and are intensely proud of their village

school and its history.

The first school on the west hill was replaced in 1870 by the popular valley

school. As the communities on both sides of the valley grew, it became

apparent that a new building would be necessary. In May, 1917, the

trustees of School Section 7 spent $1,500 and purchased the three acres of

land on which the present school now stands. Architects James, Laudon

and Hertzberg were hired to design the building and when tenders were

called, John C. Morrish and Sons were awarded the contract with Roger

and William Pearce as masons.

A better choice could not have been made. It was the Morrish and Helliwell

families of the nineteenth century who built Highland Creek Village. The

Pearce brothers are considered by many to have been the finest masons in

the township.

In addition to the school, the Morrish-Pearce team built the West Hill Hotel,

SS 16, W.D. Morrish’s store and the famous Falcon Inn, just to name a few.

The school, one of the finest examples of brickwork in the borough, was

ready in September, 1918, but the opening was postponed because of the

Great Influenza Epidemic. Annie Shuter will remember when Miss Baker

and Mr. Hansuld, the school’s first teachers, helped her learn the basics of

education which enabled her to become one of the school’s first graduates.

Annie will also remember when the trustees hired Margaret Carmichael as

the school’s first principal.

Many readers may remember when the school was only two rooms. Many

will remember when four rooms were added in 1949, two more rooms in

1951 and still two more rooms in 1952. Many will remember when several

portables were necessary to accommodate the growing community until

still yet another addition was added in 1961. Today, the original section

sticks boldly out in front, a fine monument to great builders and a

wonderful community.