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Trail Blazers: Webster Elementary School celebrating 75 years

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives
Photo: Trail Historical Society

Much has changed in the 75 years since teachers at Webster Elementary School first welcomed students to the classroom.

While this photo shows the school mirroring how it looks today, what’s striking is the barren landscape.

After decades of greening up the village proper and lands around the schoolhouse, Webster Elementary School hits its semisesquicentennial milestone on April 23.

While there is not a plethora of history on schools in Warfield, the Kootenay Columbia Heritage Society has collated information on how Webster Elementary came to be.

The following excerpt is courtesy the Kootenay Columbia Heritage Society, a group of retired professionals dedicated to preserving the region’s educational legacy.

“The first record of a school in Annable, a residential area just west of Trail (now part of Warfield), was in 1912. It was a one room wooden structure located on Montcalm Road.

It had 18 pupils in its first year of classes. It operated at this location until 1934 when a new and larger school for the area’s children was built on land donated by Joe and Mary Shutek on the highway from Trail to Rossland near Bingay Road. This school had two rooms and was also named Annable School.

In April 1949, this school was replaced by the James L. Webster Elementary School on property next door.

The Annable School still stands and is used by School District No. 20 for its Trail area maintenance services. The James L. Webster Elementary School was named after a former member of the Provincial Legislature. This school remains in use and serves the communities of Warfield, Rivervale/Oasis, Genelle, Tadanac and West Trail.”

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Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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