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Fort McMurray's School Stories
Heritage Park
Fort McMurray , Alberta


   Upon his arrival, Mr.
Douglas Craig McTavish, a lay
missionary and minister for
the Presbyterian Church,
realized that the town of
McMurray was in need of a
school for the children. He
immediately set about making
this happen. On September
25, 1912, the McMurray

District School Board No.
2833 was officially
established. Mr. McTavish's
new bride, Cassia Patton
McTavish, a trained teacher,
was hired to take on the role
as McMurray's first
   The Board of Trustees for
the original McMurray

District School Board
included: Mr. William Gordon,
Mr. William Biggs, and Mr. D.
S. McKenzie. Mr. McTavish,
who had previous experience
as a carpenter, was appointed
to build the first
schoolhouse. The building was
completed in December 1912.
It was a one-room schoolhouse

with a cloakroom by the door.
A teacherage building was
located adjacent to the
school to provide living
quarters for the teacher. On
the first day of school,
there were 13 students in
   As a boomtown for the
oilsands industry, the

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