Stanstead College (Stanstead, Quebec)

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Stanstead College
Stanstead college Colby House.jpg
Stanstead, Quebec
School type Independent, day and boarding, university-preparatory high school
Established 1872
Headmaster Michael Wolfe
Faculty 42
Enrollment 200
Campus 600 acres (2.4 km2)
Colour(s) Red and White

Stanstead College is an independent boarding school in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada for boys and girls in Grades 7 through 12.[1] The school is located on a 600-acre (2.4 km2) campus in Quebec's Eastern Townships - just north of the Canadian border with the United States - and enrolls about 200 students.

The school was established in 1872 as Stanstead Wesleyan College. The school was founded as a co-educational school. In 1959 it became 'boys only'. In 1979, the school returned to its original co-educational status.[2]


In 1870, a group of Wesleyan ministers met in Sherbrooke and agreed to build a college in the Eastern Townships. Stock sold at $25 a share, with the hopes of raising $20,000. Whichever community put up $10,000 would be home to the college. Compton was ready to put up $10,000 but Stanstead offered $15,000. The Wesleyan Conference approved the project for Stanstead College in June 1871.Construction began in the fall of 1872, with the cornerstone being laid on December 2, 1872 and the College incorporated on December 24.Construction took place through 1873, and the first classes began in the first week of January 1874. Rev. A. Lee Holmes was the first principal. The slow sale of shares coupled with the low tuition ($5–$10/term plus $2.75/week for room and board) compelled the stockholders to transfer the property of Stanstead Wesleyan College to the Montreal Conference of the Methodist Church of Canada in December 1876. In the eighties, Stanstead College ended its relationship with what by then had become the United Church of Canada and is today fully non-denominational.

1894 – Dr. and Mrs. A.G. Bugbee of Derby Line donated the residence of Albert Knight, former Stanstead MLA, and have it moved across the field to the College grounds to be used as Bugbee Business College.[clarification needed]

1896 – The Pierce family donated Sunnyside Castle to be used as a girls residence.

1902 – The Holmes family donated $3000 to build a grade school for local children, known as the Holmes Model School. It opens in 1903 and remains the local school until 1952 when Sunnyside School is built.

1904 - Canadian college song dedicated to students of Stanstead Wesleyan College by Paul J. Mahlendorff was published by Marriott & Williams, circa 1904 in London.[3]

1905 – New gymnasium built.

1931 – Rev. E.C. Amaron became principal, remaining so for 23 years.

1938 – Fire destroyed the main building. A new main building, later named Colby House, opened in 1940.

World War II – During the war, the College hosted evacuees from Oldfeld School in Swanage, Dorset.

1946 – Alumni Association donated funds for Memorial Gates.

1951 – Pierce Hall is destroyed by fire.

1958 – Faced with declining enrollment, the school closed Bugbee Business School and the Eastern Townships Music Conservatory. Pierce Hall was rebuilt. Davis House for senior boys and Bugbee House for junior boys opened.

1959 – Stanstead College became an all-boys residential school. Most local students henceforth attend public schools.

1965 – Amaron Gymnasium opened.

1968 – LeBaron Hall opened.

1973 – A year of centennial celebrations includes the opening of the Ralph B. Hood Swimming Pool and a visit by Governor-General Roland Michener.

1977 – In the face of Bill 101, Stanstead College chose to no longer accept funding from the Quebec government. The resulting independence allowed the school to maintain control over its policies, including allowing francophone students to enroll without certificates of eligibility.

1979 – Stanstead College returned to co-ed status.

1991 – A new residence for senior girls, Webster House opened.

2001 – The Recreation Hall was destroyed by fire. Eight months later a new student centre was built and named for Eric T. Webster.

2011 - The Pat Burns Arena opens on the Stanstead College campus. Owned by the Town of Stanstead, the arena is leased to and operated by the College.

2012 – The swimming pool is converted to a second gymnasium, named after W. John Mackay.


Further reading[edit]

Chronological order of publication (oldest first)

  • MacDonald, Joan (1977). The Stanstead College story. Stanstead, Que: Board of Trustees of Stanstead College. 

External links[edit]