Monday, February 6, 2017

Skybo: a Tiny Schoolhouse and an Older Gentleman

This trip goes back to May 2016.  It was a hot day (probably not as hot as I am remembering) and I was off exploring around the Donalda, AB area.  I ended up seeing 6 schools sites this day.  Making it a pretty good day in my books. One I have blogged about previously here:

Isn't it cute?
Skybo Outhouse.  I almost always find an outhouse near an old
school.  Imagine that in -30. 
The one I want to take the time to feature is Skybo. It operated as a school from 1907-1956, it was then sold to the Skybo Ladies Club in 1957. There is nothing particularly remarkable about this school other than it still exists and it's smaller than any other I have seen. What did make this day special was the stranger that stopped to chat. I don't encounter vehicles very often on some of these roads let alone one that pulls over. I was alone and watched a bit warily as an older gentleman stepped out of the truck. He looked harmless.  He was, of course, and was just curious as to what I was doing.  His name is Frank and he attended this school in the 1940's. He walked 2 miles to go here. He showed me where the siding on the school didn't match, it was an addition to the front of the school (which means it was really tiny).  He also showed me some flowers that he says have bloomed there since he was a school boy. He seemed interested in my hobby and we talked about that, global warming, the general state of the world and how different it is for kids today. It was a great chat and I wish I could meet someone like this at every old school I stop at.

I tried to find out what Skybo means, an internet friend thinks it means sky or cloud dwelling. I think Cloud Dwelling sounds lovely.

Here are the other schools I found on the same day:
 Pilot Knob 1907-1945.  Now a Community Hall and
getting a make over the day I was there. 

Ripley 1904-1952. Currently an operating Community Hall.
I looked in the window and it looks great inside!

Site of Schultz School 1905-1949, the original building
was moved away.

Site of Bonnie Brae 1907-1947 No info found.


  1. The Skybo school before the addition looks to be about the same size as the one my grandfather helped build in northern Minnesota, about the same year. I don't think there were more than ten or twelve pupils at any given time. Nice find with a bonus conversation.

    1. Thanks Vicki! Hard to imagine! My graduating class had about 400 people in it!