Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Old Log School House: City of Yellowknife Heritage Site

Statement of Significance

The original Yellowknife school is one of the more notable heritage buildings. Built in 1937 by a mining company, it was rented to the local Trustee Board and used as a schoolhouse for a short period before World War II.

The Old Log School House was the first school in Yellowknife. It was built in 1937 by prominent Yellowknife pioneers Ray G. ‘Red’ McPhie, and ‘Sleepy Jim’ McDonald. Its simple log construction is an excellent example of buildings from this time. The building was originally used as a mining kitchen and bunkhouse. In 1939, it was opened as a one-room schoolhouse, and Ms. Mildred Hall became the first teacher in Yellowknife. Space was so limited the 32 students attended lessons in shifts! After one year of operation, classes had to relocate to a larger building.

The Old Log School House is an icon of Yellowknife education. In 1987, Yellowknife Education District No.1 moved the building to a prominent location on main street, next to Mildred Hall School and the education district office. The schoolhouse continues to be associated with Mildred Hall, and the foundations of Yellowknife education.

  • Its simple square structure with pyramid roof, and interior one-room layout
  • Elements of original building materials and methods, such as the saddle-notched logs chinked with saplings, and hipped roof
  • Its symbolic location close to Mildred Hall School and Yellowknife Education District No.1

City of Yellowknife By-Law 4035