At SwampFest in Kinburn, I had the pleasure of meeting many people who went to one-room schools. Alvin (Pat) Buck went to S.S. No. 5 Torbolton from 1928 to 1936. He remembers his teachers Harriett Montgomery who dished out the strap every day, Angeline Ebbs, and Martha Penny. Martha’s two twin brothers, David and Henry, were also her students. They received the strap because they insisted on calling her ‘Martha’ instead of ‘Miss Penny’. Sometimes students would lock another teacher, Phyllis Tripp, outside the school when she was a little delayed visiting with her boyfriend, Willard Anderson. They had a wonderful time wreaking havoc inside.
Pat’s wife, Laura Nesbitt Buck, and her three brothers, Harold, Earl and Russell all went to S.S. No. 4 Torbolton. They had several teachers including Mary Argue, Angeline Ebbs, Harvey Cauldwell, Eunice Dolan, Flora MacMurchy and Orville Kennedy who put the ‘fear of the Lord’ in them. Laura confessed she got the strap for chewing gum in class.
Bill Pennings attended Wilton School in 1953, northwest of Odessa (between Napanee and Kingston). The school burned down, but the cast iron school bell was saved. It lay in a shed for 40 years before Bill was able to buy it. The bell now sits on the roof of his garage in Kinburn. He also attended a one-room school south of Caledonia and a two-room school, S.S. No. 12 Puslich, in Wellington County south of Guelph. It is now a house.
Bill Duncan went to S.S. No. 7 Goulbourn from 1944-1952. He graduated from South Carleton High School before earning a degree at Carleton University in 1962. After working for 30 years for Imperial Oil (Esso), he retired in 1995 to farm in Kinburn.
I just learned that there were one-room schools on Indian Reserves with Native teachers. From 1936-1940, Helen Monture Moses attended S.S. No. 6 on the Six Nations Reserve. The teacher’s residence was attached to the school. She remembers playing baseball, tag, and Red Rover Red Rover. She left after Grade 7 to attend a one-room school at Tyendenaga, (outside of Belleville) and then went on to a career.
On Friday, August 19th, I reprised my role of "Miss Chamberlain" as the special guest for the Children's Program at the Nepean Museum. My pupils were adorable, raging in age from 2 to 10. They had such fun dressing up, singing "God Save the Queen", writing on slates, trying to write their names using an ink pen, making paper dolls and thomatropes, and playing hop scotch and skipping outside.
Mary Butler Durst is a retired principal from the Ottawa Catholic School Board. She started her education for four months in 1948 at R.C.S.S. No. 17 Rodchester in Essex County, near Bell River, twenty miles from Windsor. Her mother, Bridget Dwyer had taught at St. Theresa School from 1938-1942 and had to resign when she became pregnant. Her father was the secretary treasurer. French was taught in the school as this was a very bilingual area. Mary's sister, Katherine Dwyer taught at the Lake School near Lake St. Claire. Her other sister, Eileen Dwyer taught at Byrnedale School in the Township of Rodchester.
This schoolhouse is now owned by the Cummins/Conlin family.
George Spearman arrived at my door today to get another book for his wife, Helen. George attended S.S. No. 11 Goulbourn (8th Line School p. 134) from 1939-1946. He was in the same year as Lillian Hobbs’ (p. 134-138) sister, Lena James. Helen Spearman remembers skiing 1 ½ miles to S.S. No. 13 Mc Nab from 1943-1949. The Glasgow Station School was in the hamlet of Glasgow Station on the 8th line McNab Township between Arnprior and Renfrew. Edna McMillan and Violet McIntyre were two of Helen's teachers. Children used to play ball in a neighbouring field. The rocky playground provided lots of places to hide during games of Hide & Seek. The tiny village of Glasgow Station used to have a corner store and a railroad station. When the school closed, students were bused to a new one built on the Stewartville Road (7th Line McNab). Helen’s mother, Margaret Storie, was a teacher in the Pine Grove School in McNab Township.
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Rotary Club of Ottawa at the Marriott Hotel. After a delicious meal and my presentation, I signed books for some members. I learned that Gib Patterson went to Ellwood School on Bank Street where the Ledbury Apartments are now, across from Home Depot. If anyone has any information or pictures about this school in Gloucester Township, please let me know.
Richard Shantz’s mother, Stella Irvine, grew up in Brinston near Iroquois in Matilda Township. She went to the Ottawa Normal School and taught in the one-room school before the war. I'm looking for information about this school as well.