Almost any country drive in Saskatchewan will bring you across at least one of these markers.

These were erected as monuments to the estimated 5,000 one room country schools that at one time appeared every four to six miles apart across the countryside. Each metal marker is placed at an actual school site.

One room schools began in our province in 1887, and I was surprised to learn that some still operated until around 1970.

A one room school building is a rare find, but they do exist. Some are dilapidated and ready to fall with the next strong prairie wind. Some have been preserved and moved to museum sites where old towns have been recreated. Some have been repurposed as sheds or small granaries.

I’m in awe when I think about how the teachers managed to teach several different grade levels at once in those little one room schools. In the earlier years, I would guess that the main focus would have been the basic three r’s, but in later years, the curriculums would have been much more developed for each grade level. Teachers were and are resourceful and invaluable professionals.

“It would be wonderful if they could restore enough of it so that people realize what it really was like when it was a one-room school”

Martha Forth, Laurie, MO