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Home Attraction Old Log School House

Old Log School House

The first school in Yellowknife, the Old Log School House was built in 1937 by prominent local pioneers Ray G. ‘Red’ McPhie and ‘Sleepy Jim’ McDonald. Originally used as a mining kitchen and bunkhouse, the town’s booming population necessitated its repurposing as a one-room schoolhouse in 1939. Its school board was the first democratically elected government body in the territory and the students were presided over by Mildred Hall, the first teacher in Yellowknife.

Space was so limited that the 32 students attended in shifts, and the classes were often interrupted by miners and other locals mistaking the building for a bar. After one year of operation, classes had to relocate to a larger building. The schoolhouse was moved from Old Town to the present location on Franklin (50th) Avenue in 1987, on the property of the elementary school named in honour of Mildred Hall. It’s now listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places and, although currently closed to the public, is planned to become a museum dedicated to Yellowknife’s early educational history.