Springfield Consolidated School

Springfield, Nova Scotia (Map)

Fall 2007, Winter 2008 & Spring 2008; with added commentary from 2015.


One day last fall, I retrieved directions to the satellite place and embarked on an adventure.

Traveling to the satellite place from my house involves crossing the mountains of Nova Scotia. Mountains is an overstatement though. The 'mountains', or more appropriately foothills, are just minor remnants of the end of the Appalachian mountain chain (i.e. the mountains in Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, &c.). It was halfway through the foothills that I had found beauty roadside. Life is slower paced in the foothills and I thought maybe that I had found the area of Nova Scotia where abandoned building exist and linger.

It was early and I had plenty of time. The satellite place could wait as I decided to take a look around Springfield Consolidated.

There wasn't a board anywhere in sight. It appeared as if they never even tried to seal up the building. Why were there no boards; and more so why were there no windows?

Whatever. I reasoned it was because they were about to demolish the building and went about my business.

I walked around and weighed the option of hitting one of the many open lower floor windows. My modus operandi is to avoid extraneous entrance work whenever possible. I remember one night in Southwest Detroit climbing through an elevated open window right on Fort Street; only to realize that the front door had a giant, much easier hole in it. That wasn't happening again.

Lazy me luckily found stairs around back and went down to the lower floor. There was a layer of items beneath my feet; but nothing of significance. Springfield Consolidated is quite small and I didn't really expect that much.

Springfield is located about 50 kilometers north of Bridgewater (Bridgewater being a town of population 5000 - a fair size town in Nova Scotia) & 50 kilometers south of Middleton (a town of similar stature to Bridgewater). Its isolation and distance from bigger centres meant that this school could never have had that large of enrollment.

One of the rooms still had some desks in it. Although, most of the rooms sat empty with the aforementioned item layer of drawings, children's books and other various papers.

In 2015 I would receive an email from a woman with a great number of ties to this school. One of the neatest things was that she salvaged one of the chalkboards from down here for her home, saving a piece of the school that meant so much to her family.

After I looked through the 4 classrooms of the bottom floor, I moved upstairs.

The building was structurally very sound and I reasoned that it couldn't have been closed very long. The mid latitude climate of Nova Scotia and the freeze thaw cycles that accompany, would wreak havoc on a building like this in very little time.

I found from the internet that Springfield Consolidated closed its doors on June 20th, 2004. The email I received in 2015 was from someone who graduated in 2002 with a class of 14, and her sister would be in that last 2004 graduate class with only about five other people.

The upper floors had full size windows and therefore even more light was available in each room.

The second floor also had much larger rooms with beautiful old woodwork. The larger rooms were much more pleasant and enjoyable than the basement rooms. While the basement rooms probably had classes of 5 or so; these may have had classes in the 10 - 20 range.

Big ledge for a little elementary school.

Upper floor hallway.

The major highway (if you want to call it that) that passes through Springfield wasn't very far away.

This was early into my Nova Scotia tenure and I was really trying not to be seen inside the building. Looking back, I don't think anyone would really care. People seem to be more reasonable here, as opposed to the Windsor mentality of call police first and never ask questions later.

I sat in a desk for a minute and took it in. Nova Scotia has slowed my explorin pace because I know there isn't 4 more buildings I need to visit in the same day.

I went down to the basement and searched to see if I had missed anything. Nope. I took some shots of the various murals and walked out the unlocked door.

I went back to the satellite place again in the winter.

Springfield Consolidated still sat empty and open. I wanted to look for roof/attic access I might've missed, but instead I continued on my way.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is Navi babbling on about some 9 room schoolhouse in the foothills of Nova Scotia?



Sure enough, I was bored the other day and called my boy GW to see if he wanted to head up to this abandoned elementary school up in the mountains. GW's been hitting some small stuff with me of late, so I figured it would be a good trip.

Well I could barely believe my eyes when I came downhill through Springfield...the school was gone!

Now you know why Springfield Consolidated is here because of my fascination with demolished buildings.

Walking around the rubble, I found that most of the wood was charred and burned.

Did it burn down or get torn down?

I saw some people walking by and asked them. They told me that the government came and burned it down - it's the way they supposedly now tear down buildings. (edit 2015: the email I received said that the local fire department burned the building down, getting valuable practice at the same time.)

I guess it beats the illegal arson method in Detroit which risks firefighter lives.

S.C.S. ~1940 - 2008.

Today (2015), the ground has been cleared and the fire department stores trailers on the property.

In 2015 I would receive a nice email from local resident Deanna whose grandfather helped build Springfield Consolidated, whose grandmother taught here and whose father, sister & herself attended the school. Her grandparents actually met because of this school since her grandfather was dying to meet the pretty new schoolteacher who found herself in Springfield.

In addition to insightful depth added to this post, she also attached a picture from the 1940s that her grandmother took of the school from the side!

What a great old picture! I was happy to see it & appreciate being allowed to add it to this post. Thanks Deanna!


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