The Riverside Consolidated School - Some Little Known Facts

If you haven't heard the Riverside Consolidated School could be closed as early as June, 2015. Here is a link for further news and who you can write to in support of the school.

Some Facts on RCS: 

  • Construction of the Riverside Consolidated School began in July of 1904.
  • Designed by architect, W. E. Reid, who was the youngest of three sons who all followed the same profession. He was born in Harvey, New Brunswick to William J. Reid and Lucinda Robinson. He studied at Mount Allison University and about 1888, he joined his brothers James W. and Merritt in California, where he ran their San Diego office, overseeing construction of the massive Hotel del Coronado to his brother's designs. He returned to Canada in 1899 and had a few commissions there under the auspices of Senator Abner Reid McClelan. These included the Riverside Consolidated School and the Albert County Court House.
  • The consolidated school cost $20,000 to build and included eight class rooms, an office, two lunchrooms, a library, a laboratory, and two playrooms. (This would be about $420,000.00 today) 
  • The construction was partially funded by a $5000 donation from Riverside resident and former Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, Abner Reid McClelan, with the stipulation that manual training, household science, and nature work classes were to be provided, in addition to the more traditional subjects. The province paid $1,000 and the remaining $14,000 was paid by local taxpayers.
  • Riverside Consolidated opened in September of 1905, 225 students filed through the doors and experienced the most modern facilities available at the time. The school had five departments and staff of seven teachers. The Albert County Grammar school was one department, enabling students to prepare for University Matriculation. The other departments included Household or Domestic Science, manual Training, Agriculture and school Gardening.
  • The new school was staffed by seven teachers and a janitor.
  • Students were brought by horse-drawn van from surrounding communities like Chester, Beaver Brook, Midway, Harvey, and Hopewell Hill during the spring and fall and by horse-drawn sleigh during the winter.
  • The formal opening ceremony took place June 15, 1906. New Brunswick Premier Tweedie, Chief Superintendent of Education, J.R. Inch and many other officials arrived by way of the steamer “Wilfred C.” at the Riverside Wharf. There they were met by Honourable A.R. McClelan and the drum and bugle of Albert performed.
  • Premier Tweedie as well as many other dignitaries were all quite impressed with the new facility, declaring it a model for other educational facilities across the Province.
  • Today after 100+ years of operation, the Riverside Consolidated School is the oldest operating consolidated school in New Brunswick. Children from communities as far away as Lower Cape and Alma, attend the school from kindergarten to grade five.
  • Historic Places Link