On 30 January 1873 Benjamin Smith of Christmas Hills wrote to the new Education Department on behalf of his community asking for support for a school. Thomas Young offered a room in his Post Office residence and Albert Hunt offered his whole house (a single room 12 x 10 feet with earth floor, slab walls, bark roof, and only an opening for a window (therefore not weatherproof) which was located six kilometres to the west on Watsons Creek. The Education Department decided to use both. They were opened as branches of the one school in September 1874. Robert Harris transferred from Queenstown to be school master and spent his mornings at one school and afternoons at the other. The Watson Creek building was very inadequate and the school closed in 1875 as pupil numbers dropped. This increased the numbers at the Post Office and Thomas Young removed a wall to provide a larger room.

During the next few years there was considerable controversy over an appropriate site for a purpose-built school but eventually the site of the current school was settled upon. At one point in the dispute children were withdrawn from the school and a Grammar School was set up in the home of Mrs James Charlton. A new school building was erected by Joseph Stevenson and included a teachers residence. It opened in 1880 with 40 pupils.


Mick Woiwod, Once around the Sugarloaf, Bend of Islands Press, 1992