The village of Gleichen sprang up in 1883 at the No.12 siding of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Five years later, the district's first school was built by Victor Joseph Beaupre from logs that were floated down the Bow River. By 1908 the school's attendance had grown to 60, and a new four-room schoolhouse was built. The old schoolhouse, which was later used as a residence, was donated to Heritage Park in 1977 and restored to its original appearance.
Conditions were challenging in Prairie schools during the early days of settlement, and Gleichen was no different. The village had a small tax base, so the little school was unable to receive much funding from the government. Consequently, the teachers were poorly paid, the school's furnishings sparse, and the supplies meager. The little school had a stable, two outhouses, a fence and a well with a pump. The well water at the school was too alkaline for the students to drink, so many brought water from home or drank either rainwater or melted snow.