The History of Montague Regional High School
“Where There’s Old, There’s Gold”
Montague Regional High School is a comprehensive school with academic, general, practical, and vocational programs.
The genesis of our school goes back to 1849 and the Montague bridge. The first school stood on the crest of the hill near the junction of the Douse’s Road (Valleyfield Road) and the Lower Montague Road and had thirty-five pupils in various grades. The original two-room log school house is a private home today.
In the 1870’s, a second school was built near the town centre to house primary students. During the 1880’s, a large two and a half story building (Yeo Theater/Tudor Hall) was constructed on School Street by the people of the village who paid for their own school at that time. The upstairs had a large classroom with a stage (which doubled as a public hall) where advanced students in Grades Seven to Nine went to school. Two rooms downstairs held primary students from the North side of the bridge. South side primary students continued at the original school. Incidentally, students argued for years over who came from the “city” side of Montague or the “bog” side.
Montague became a town during World War I and in 1926 a new school which was named Montague Memorial (in memory of the soldiers) was constructed directly across from the hall, facing Fraser Street. This school had six class rooms and eventually housed primary to secondary classes (Grades One to Eleven). Montague Memorial School is the building were Gypsy Bingo and Generation XX has operated in recent years.
Due to the population growth of the 1950’s, a new Montague High School was built further up Fraser Street. It faced south, where the cafeteria of the Fraser Street high school is now. This school was expanded once and housed students from Grades Nine to Twelve. On a Friday night in 1959, this wooden school burned to the ground. Without missing a day, students were placed in various halls and buildings throughout the town and the children’s education continued uninterrupted for a year and a half.
Educational reform was rapid in the 1960’s and it was decided to construct a new high school on the same site. The “new” Montague Regional High School opened in 1961 and students were bussed from the surrounding districts to what was the first regional high school on Prince Edward Island. The new building faced Fraser Street and ran North to South. The school’s population rose quickly and a “new” wing area with three floors was added to the south end of the building in 1963.
In 1981, the Junior and Senior High Schools were amalgamated to form Montague Junior-Senior High School. Vocational shops, a gymnasium, science labs, administrative offices, and a cafeteria were added to the original structure to accommodate the student body. After much discussion on a name for the complex, it was agreed to keep the original name of Montague Regional High School.
The school year 1997-1998 marked the beginning of separate administrations for the Montague Intermediate and Senior High Schools. The following is a list of Principals of Montague Regional High School, from 1960 to the present:
Mr. Jack Hughes
Mr. Waldo Taylor*
Mrs. L. Laird
Mr. Ralph Stonefield
Mr. Robert Simmons
Mr. Doug Holland
Mr. Alan Hubley
Mr. Walter Wilkins
Mr. Ron Diamond
Mr. Lyman Douglas
Ms. Seana Evans-Renaud
* It is interesting to note that Mr. Waldo Taylor was Chairman of the School Board when he took over as principal.
Today, Montague Regional High School has over 650 students, a teaching staff of over forty, and twenty support staff. We are proud of our history of over one hundred fifty years in the service of education.
In September 2010, students and staff moved into the new school, located on the Valleyfield Road.