The Seaforth Schoolhouse is a one-storey wood-frame rectangular plan building with a projecting entry porch, located in the Burnaby Village Museum.
The heritage value of the Seaforth Schoolhouse lies in its representation of a one-room school once located in one of the city’s rural districts. The school was constructed due to the demand of increasing population after the First World War, in what was then known as the Lozells District, so isolated at the time that parents were concerned about the danger to their children from wild bears and cougars that roamed the area. The school was named after its sponsor, the Seaforth Chapter of the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire. Bowman and Cullerne, the architects for the Burnaby School Board, designed the one room schoolhouse. It was constructed by local contractor, Alphonse J. Toebaert, following the standards of British Columbia public school architecture, which specified the plan and orientation of the building. It indicates the values and the design control of school boards of the time, and the central role of the provincial government in setting educational standards.
The heritage value of this school also lies in its interpretive value within the Burnaby Village Museum. The site is an important cultural feature for the interpretation of Burnaby’s heritage to the public, illustrating the changes in the local school system over time. The school was moved to Burnaby Village Museum in 1983, and was opened to the public after extensive restoration in 1987. Both the interior and exterior have been restored and interpreted to the date of original construction. The North Vancouver School Board donated most of the early desks, and the remainder of the interior artifacts are from the museum’s own collection.
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Seaforth Schoolhouse include its:
- rectangular plan
- hipped roof with cedar shingle cladding
- hipped-roof entry porch
- typical school fenestration of the era, with a bank of double-hung 6-over-6 wooden-sash windows on one facade
- cedar shingle cladding
- original and authentic interior elements such as interior mouldings, blackboards and desks