Port Simpson Residential School Timeline


At the invitation of the high-ranking Dudoward family, Methodist missionaries Thomas and Emma Crosby arrive in Port Simpson.


The Crosbys begin to take Tsimshian girls into their home.


Tsimshian leaders petition the Department of Indian Affairs for a Methodist boarding school for their boys.


The Crosbys build an addition on the mission house to serve as a Girls’ Home.

The home opens in August with 12 girls in residence who attend classes at the village day school.


The Crosbys build a new mission house, and the whole of their old house becomes the Girls’ Home.

Two girls die during a measles outbreak, the first deaths in the home.


There are 14 girls and one little boy in the home.


The number of girls in the home grows to 20 and a second staff worker is hired.


Construction of a boys’ home, under the management of the Methodist Missionary Society, begins.


The Women’s Missionary Society purchase two acres of land just outside the Tsimshian reserve with plans to erect a new building for the Girls’ Home there.

The Crosby Boys’ Home opens in October.


Construction begins on the new Girls’ Home building, which can accommodate up to 50 girls.


In May, the new Girls’ Home opens under the management of the Women’s Missionary Society, with 29 girls in residence and three staff.

Girls in the home no longer attend the day school.

The government recognizes the Girls’ Home as a residential school and provides it with a per capita grant of $60 for up to 20 children.

A hospital is opened in Port Simpson; Dr. Albert Bolton, the resident physician, also attends to illness in the Girls’ Home.


The per capita grant for the Girls’ Home is raised to $100 to a maximum of 25 girls.


Elizabeth Shaw, a relief matron at the Boys’ Home, writes a scathing letter condemning conditions there.


The Boys’ Home gets its first per capita grant, for 15 children.


Attendance in the Girls’ Home reaches 46, the highest yet.

Financed enrolment at the Girls’ Home is raised to 35; financed enrolment in the Boys’ Home is raised to 20.


Attendance in the Boys’ Home is 24.

The Methodists and Tsimshian leaders ask the Department of Indian Affairs to combine the Girls’ Home and the Boys’ Home into a single school; the Department of Indian Affairs refuses.


Staff at the Girls’ Home now number four.


Tsimshian leaders offer to set aside six acres of land for an industrial institute.


A cement foundation is put on the Girls’ Home, a well is sunk, and a fire escape is installed.


The Girls’ Home per capita grant is raised to $100 to a maximum of 45 children.

There are now five workers on staff.


For the first time, the girls in the Crosby Home are granted a one-month vacation period.


The Boys’ Home is closed permanently. Although Tsimshian leaders are interested in keeping the school, they refuse to set aside any more land until their land grievances are settled. Most of the resident boys are sent to Coqualeetza Residential School, more than 800 km away.


Tsimshian leaders petition for a boarding school for boys, so their boys can get an education without going as far as Coqualeetza. They offer to provide land for it.


Fire destroys the Girls’ Home on Jan. 1. Some girls are sent to Coqualeetza, but most attend the local day school.

A new home is built, with accommodation for 35 residents.


A Delco lighting system is installed.


Tsimshian people petition again for a boys’ boarding school.


A new wing is built on the Girls’ Home.

Twenty-five girls are in attendance, and the per capita grant is $175.


There are three staff, which remains the number until the home closes.


There are no fire drills because there are screens nailed over the windows.

A new woodshed is built and a new range, washer, and wringing machine are bought.


The screens on the windows have been made to open.


There is no matron at the Girls’ Home. Reverend Wilding is substituting.


There have been three principals in the last year.


There are problems among the staff; the Women’s Missionary Society sends in a whole new staff for September.


A night watchman is hired, in part because of “trouble with native boys.”

The Department of Indian Affairs orders the Girls’ Home closed because the building is very old and “the operation of the school has been unsatisfactory for a number of years.”

Due to a miscommunication, the home opens again in October, with eight girls in residence and “more to come.”


The Girls’ Home closes June 30.