St John's school house was the first combined school and teacher residence circa 1845 for Canberra and is now a museum. On this day in 1967, The Canberra Times reported on the push to save the old historic building.
The building which housed Canberra's first school would be restored to its original condition and preserved as a historical monument if negotiations between the Department of the Interior and the property trustees of the Church of St John the Baptist, Reid, are successful.
It is understood that several relics from the old school held by the families of former pupils will be displayed when the building is restored. They included the dunce's stool and cap.
The granite walls of the building, which included the headmaster's quarters, were in good repair, but extensive work would be required on the roof, flooring, windows and doors.
St John's School was built between 1845 and 1850. According to Frederick Watson in his 'History of Canberra', it originally consisted of a classroom and two rooms for living quarters.
It was damaged by a fire in 1864 and while repairs were made, the pupils were taught in the dairy of Duntroon.
After it ceased to be a school, the building became a parish centre until 1959 and was then the headquarters of the 1st Canberra St John's Scout troop until it acquired its own hall.