In remote outback communities such as Silverton, buildings like the school were valuable resources not only for children, but also for the whole community.
Residents used these buildings for the broader education of the community as well as fostering cultural activities that provided a civilizing influence in rough-and-ready mining towns like Silverton.
At the height of the silver boom in the region, the Silverton School was the centre of a network of schools located in the Silverton area. Within Silverton, the school was a community hub. It was a venue for sports days, fetes, fundraisers and celebrations such as Empire Day. Adults in Silverton also benefitted from educational opportunities, as many people in the late 1800s were poorly educated.
Mr Mackie the first teacher at Silverton ran evening classes for adults and gave private music lessons. Another teacher, Mr Garret, ran youth activities for those over school age such drama performances which supplied the community and surrounding areas with entertainment.
Back then, it was much more than a school, it was a place that enriched the lives of Silverton residents and helped them survive the many hardships of life in a remote mining town.
One prime example of the community crossover was the sports days. These events were held on a Saturday, and the entire community participated including students and residents from Silverton as well as from nearby towns and settlements. There were running races for the children but also several adults’ categories such as single and married men and women. After the sports day, there would be an evening dance where it is said that the school children would fall asleep under the stands while the adults danced the night away.