The Little Schoolhouse

Posted: 25th February 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hi everyone, welcome to our first post on our new dedicated server!  We hope the move didn’t cause too many service disruptions for everyone.  We’re pretty excited to be here now in control of our site, and rest assured the move was all worth it as we will have some changes coming.

We thought we’d start our new adventure together with a visit to one of our very favorite things; historic architecture.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

This is the Metchosin Schoolhouse.  It is in absolutely wonderful condition and very well maintained.  The classic heritage architectural details are truly rich here, really bringing all the fabulous character of the facility to life for all to enjoy.  You’ll notice that the windows on the side are actually boarded over and painted to look like the original windows.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

What a quaint little place.  The windows are boarded over to keep the artifacts inside safe from UV damage from sunlight, and we’re told that the treasures that are held here are really something special.  Expect to see these treasures in future posts as we have been promised easy access!  We’re pretty excited about that opportunity and are looking forward to doing this very soon.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Class was first held here in the spring of 1872 with Mrs. Fisher at the helm.  This is apparently the first schoolhouse built in BC after Confederation and is well-known in the Metchosin and surrounding areas.  It is a really important part of the history and character of Vancouver Island.

We were told that the building has been moved from its original location, which is nearby.  Regardless, lower Vancouver Island in 1872 in the winter would be a harsh and unforgiving place, one that presented the local inhabitants with challenges in basic survival.  When we were looking for good compositions of the fabulous facility we encountered this old water pump.  It cast such an interesting shape in the garden, one that most definitely spoke of living in tune with the surroundings, the nature around you.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

We’re not exactly sure what the exact purpose of this outbuilding is, but the lines it presented and the rich moss on the roof created a great compositional opportunity.  You’ll also notice that there are two chimney stacks on the back of the schoolhouse.  One is clearly newer than the other, probably replacing the original one due to safety concerns.

As mentioned, we are going to shoot all the artifacts inside in the very near future.  It’s really one of our favorite aspects to our photography practice; the ability to document meaningful historic places and pieces to share with future generations.  Each one of these wonderful experiences exposes a little of the character and the people who lived here and used these places a long time ago.  Their fingerprint clearly remains today, and we’re thrilled to have a chance to share this with a wider audience.

Given this is our first post on our brand new server, we think this is the perfect way to acknowledge this event.  Bringing the past forward to today.

Thanks for your visit, we really appreciate you taking the time.  We encourage everyone to leave us any comments that you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Averil says:

    Congratulations on the move! You captured this so nicely.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much Averil, we really appreciate your taking the time to pop by and leave us your wonderful comments!

  2. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a treasure to still have in what looks to be decent shape considering! My wife’s childhood home was a converted schoolhouse similar, but not as colorful and cheery as this one! Can’t wait to see the inside!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Jim, that means a whole lot to us here! I love it when people get together to preserve things like this. I am led to believe that the inside is going to blow us all away, can’t wait to get in!!

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Congratulations on the move Toad. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us. Wonderful post. Excellent images but I absolutely love the 3rd one. Beautifully composed. I love the way the building and the side windows peak out from the greenery.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Edith, we sure do appreciate your ongoing support and friendship here! Most excellent of you to pop by and see us today!!

  4. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad – congratulations on your move to your own site. Nice set of images, as usual. I like these little school houses. Quite a few seem to survive, often on the grounds of newer schools where they are used as community centres or meeting halls and so on. Its great that they don’t always get torn down.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Do you know if there are more in town? Schools (especially old ones) make for great photography subjects. I think I saw a post from another local photographer recently who had taken a great series of shots of Central School, I believe it was. Near Fernwood area there. They were all really great shots. These old schools are so full of rich character. Thanks so much for following us over here, my friend, I am so happy to know that we will remain connected even after our big move here! 🙂

      • avatar ehpem says:

        Hi, there is one on Fairfield Road next to Sir James Douglas school. There was one at Strawberry Vale School a bit NE of VGH but it may have gone in recent replacement of that adjacent school. I was what must be an old school yesterday, behind a chainlink fence on Wallace Drive, near Willis Point Road – an official looking installation, but maybe the gun club? Not in good shape. Also, there is Craigflower School heritage site which is the oldest around being a HBCo original – on Admirals Road at the bridge over the Gorge. There are more, but I can’t think of their locatiosn right now.

        • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

          Oh yeh! You mention a couple I didn’t know about, but also, I totally forgot about the one by Craigflower! That is an awesome little place, and now it’s on my todo list; look for that one in future posts! Thanks for taking the time to pop back around and leave us these awesome comments my friend, I am really happy we’ve met here.

  5. avatar Jim Nix says:

    nice work Toad as usual, and congrats on the move! hope it didn’t hurt your back 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Ha! No, I managed OK but it was a lot of trips back and forth!! Thanks so much for joining us here, my friend, we sure do appreciate the support.

  6. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Really nice find Toad. It’s rare that these small historic places are kept up. Wonderful images and back story.

  7. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Queue the School House Rock right now! Nice little find my friend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Ha!! That is seriously most excellent, there, Chris! Great comments my good friend, we sure appreciate you taking the time to visit and for leaving us your great thoughts here!

  8. Great way to start off on the new server Toad old Chap. Absolutely spiffing as we say over here (well would have done when this school was new, that is).

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Your comments always are a highlight for my day, Chris, thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave these here for us!

  9. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Looks like things migrated smoothly. Nice post today, images are wonderful and love reading about the history of your little island.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very much Aaron, we really do appreciate your kind visit and most wonderful comments. Thanks ever so kindly for following us over to our new pad here, it really means an awful lot to us. 😀

  10. avatar LensScaper says:

    A great post to kick off the new ‘home’. A seemless transition, Toad (or so it appears from this end).

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you ever so kindly, Andy, we appreciate your kind visit and wonderful comments my good friend!