James Whiteside Elementary School

James Whiteside Elementary School, 2004.

James Whiteside Elementary School in 2004. 
City of Richmond Archives Photograph
2004 43 39.

James Whiteside Elementary School (1958- ) was actually opened in 1955 as Mort Elementary but was severely damaged by fire in 1957 while classrooms were being added. It was rebuilt and officially re-opened in 1958.

James Whiteside was a pioneer farmer who moved from Ontario to Lulu Island in 1877, purchasing land from Thomas Kidd at $40 an acre.

He served as Councillor for the South Arm area in 1890 and was a school trustee for the English School District in 1892. Eventually he moved to Vancouver.

As a side note, Whiteside Elementary was originally named Mort Elementary School after a pioneer farming family who lived in the vicinity. The School Board made the decision to rename the school James Whiteside Elementary after the disastrous fire that destroyed most of it. In several languages the word mort is associated with death.

Aerial photograph of Mort farm, located at 929 Steveston Highway, circa 1977.
City of Richmond Archives Photograph 1978 35 15. Click to enlarge image.

Mort farm, ca. 1977.