Likeness School - 1907

Likeness School - 1907

The Likeness School was built in the spring of 1906 by P.O. Paulson who had won the contract with a tender of $696. This price included labour and first grade supplies. The first meeting to organize the school was held at the Roth house on May 20, 1905, where the first Board of Trustees was elected. Adolph Roth, Lars Jenson, and Knud Olson were the founding Board Members of the "Likeness" School District no. 1449 of the Northwest Territories.

Money was also borrowed by the school district on several occassions from the Merchants Bank of Canada in Camrose to pay teachers salaries and other notes before all the school taxes were collected. Once the school house was built, it was insured by the Trustees through the Hudson's Bay Company for a sum of $600 over three years.

The school had some problems finding a qualified teacher in the beginning. The first teacher that was hired was Flora Bowie in 1906. Flora was employed with a special contract that would allow the school to dismiss her with a week's notice, if a teacher that had a permit could be found. Daisy Bailey, the first certified tacher, arrived on July 22, 1907. She was paid $50 a month for a school semester of 6 months. Salaries of teachers would see a raise however. Mary A. Norman was paid $1100 for one term in 1922, but this was short lived as the school went through the depression. Salaries dropped to $800 a term in November of 1932. At the January 14, 1933 meeting of the board of trustees, a bylaw was passed lowering teachers salaries to $600 for the term of 10 months, to last as long as the depression lasted. They even asked the government for permission to hire a teacher for less than the minimum rate in 1937.

The school was located 16 miles east and four miles north of Camrose on Highway 26. After 1951, the students were bussed to Holden or Bawlf. The school house was then used as a community hall for Bawlf. In July of 1979, a reunion of the Likeness School was held. The celebrations were held in the school house at its' home on the museum grounds. Many students and teachers were present and those that could not make the journey sent their regards and memories to the reunion through letters. One of the letters that was received was from Mildred Callbeck, a teacher from 1921-1922 who remembered, "Walking through the brush lot to school each morning with the gophers and partridges scuttling all around." "I remember how the gophers would sometimes come right into the school and try to lift the covers from the lunch pails." The School had stood on this brush lot until 1968 when it was bought by the Alberta Teachers Associaion for a dollar. They then moved it to the Camrose and District Centennial Museum grounds where it now stands.