Fructova School Heritage Centre
Formerly a schoolhouse called Fruitova School, this building was constructed by the Christian Communities of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) Doukhobors in 1929 using brick from the community brick factory located just below the school grounds. It opened that same year with Miss M.E. Tapping as its first teacher and 2 classes of mostly Doukhobor children from the surrounding community. The school was initially made with 2 classrooms at either end and a teacherage in the middle, although the teacherage became a classroom in the following years. It served the district until 1949, when the students were finally taken by schoolbus to Grand Forks to attend Central Elementary School. The school gradually fell into a state of disrepair and remained so until the 1980’s.
THE HERITAGE CENTRE
USCC members took an active role in an effort to reconstruct the school, forming the Doukhobor Historical Society and raising $200,000 in funding for the task. With the concerted effort of society members, student workers and volunteers, renovations were completed by the early 1990’s. The name of the new facility was changed from Fruitova to Fructova at this time to reflect proper Russian language usage. The terrm Fructova, meaning “fruitful”, had been formerly used by Doukhobors to describe Grand Forks in general, in recognition of its sunny climate and agricultural productivity. The Fructova Heritage Centre was designed to include space for offices, meetings and displays or exhibits and the Doukhobor Historical Society operated out of this building for a number of years until recently when the building was made available for other public and private use.
Worthy of note, a similar structure also exists in Castlegar, where it has changed ownership and function several times and was most recently known as the “Schoolhouse Restaurant.”