PORT KELLS SCHOOL

Port Kells

 Sam McClughan's bride, Eliza Shaw, arrived in Langley with her new husband after a trip from Ontario via train to San Francisco, by steamer to Victoria, by steamer to New Westminster, by a small steamer up the Fraser to Fort Langley, and then across the prairie (flats of Salmon River) in a row boat. In 1879, the McClughans settled on 160 acres where 88 meets 200 today. Because there was no school nearer than Fort Langley, Mrs. McClughan did her best to teach her 5 children at home. 

Finally in 1891, a little school was built near the corner of Crompton Road (204) and Wilson Townline (96). The first teacher was Miss Mary E. Spiers (or Speirs), later Mrs. Dr. George Gardner Fife. Later teachers were Miss Sayer and then Miss Ackerman. Henry G. Kells (1897-1946) was awarded a book for Proficiency in June, 1909, signed by teacher E. Anderson. 

The children of the local families (Kells, McClughan, Muench, Yeomans, Kerr, Page, Peters, Latta, and McCauley) trailed through bush 3 miles to the school. In times of flood, the children travelled to school by canoe. A log across Dawson's Creek offered the children a dunking if they were not careful on the slippery surface. Tracks of bear, bobcat, and lynx were familiar sights on the trails. 

The present Port Kells School, originally called Springdale School, was built about 1907 or 1908 on 88 Avenue just west of 192 Street (Surrey). Its name was not officially changed to Port Kells School until the later 1920s. 

It is believed by Kay Kells that the original Port Kells School on 96 was closed about 1914 due to lack of enrolment. 



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