It is so much fun to continually receive stories about one-room schoolhouses. Dan Armstrong, former student and teacher at S.S. No. 12 Fitzroy, recalls an amusing incident. On his first day as a teacher, he promptly rang the bell at 9am only to only to discover all of the senior boys were missing. He went out to the Ferry Road to see that the boys were very busy picking up the beer bottles that had been thrown into the ditch the night before by the revelers returning on the Quyon Ferry. There had been a month long strike by the workers at the Ontario beer stores and so the pickings were very good. Thus a good lesson was learned by all on the value of entrepreneurship.
On January 27, 2013 at 4:30am, the alarm went off at the Cheshire Cat Pub, 2193 Richardson Side Road in Carp. The old English pub and former schoolhouse was on fire! Neighbours also called 911 as the owner, Dustin Therrien, rushed to the scene. Snow and ice hampered the 45 firefighters with 15 trucks. Sadly, they pulled down the old bell tower and, by the end of the day, all that was left were the stone walls. Damage is estimated at $700,000 and the heritage building is beyond repair.
The Cheshire Cat Pub was originally a one-room schoolhouse, S.S. No. 1 Huntley. Thomas Mulligan donated the land in 1820 for the site of “Mulligan’s School”. Initially, there were log structures before a stone building was erected in 1883. After the school closed in 1957, it was converted into a private home, tea room and eventually a restaurant. Dustin and his wife, Crystal have owned the pub since 2005 and turned it into a 'real community restaurant'.
I was so fortunate to have had my book launch there, and interviewed several teachers and students who had attended the old schoolhouse. Their stories are recorded in my book.
Dustin vows “We’ll be back” to his loyal patrons, but many historical mementos were lost in the blaze.
The vibrant Cornstone group of retirees, at Bethel Penticostal Church, engaged me as their guest speaker today. After a warm welcome by Pastor Brian Jarvis, Frank & Doreen Holm, and a delectable lunch, I met many seniors who had attended or taught in one-room schools.
Marion Grierson Marks had read my book and was delighted to inform me that she knew many people in it. Her mother, Aleta Stevenson, attended S.S. No. 7 Fitzroy, 3321 Diamondview, north of Grant Side Road, Kinburn, as did her first cousin, Nelda Styles (story on page 43). She also went to school with all the Davis girls – Ada, Dorothy, Frances, Ethel and Helen (stories on pages 64-67).
Shirley Cameron Pigeon attended S.S. No. 20 Osgoode (Vernon School p. 70) for Grade 6 and S.S. No. 23 Osgoode (Dalmeny School) for Grade 7. This schoolhouse has been a private home for 50 years and is on the Blair family property.
Teachers were hard to come by in Darling Township. Gerry Sutherland taught (S.S. No. 3 Darling & Lanark (Halls Mills School) from 1951-1952. His older brother, John Sutherland, also began teaching there, fresh out of high school, in 1945. He later went on to become the Director of Education for the Carleton Public School Board.
As a student growing up in Renfrew, Jeanette Jobson used to bike past a red brick one-room school near the Renfrew Glen off of old Highway 17. One day, she and her friends saw that the windows had been left ajar, so they climbed into the schoolhouse. She remembers putting a log on the teacher’s desk and they writing all their names all over the blackboards (harmless fun). It wasn’t long after she returned home that she was greeting by a stern mother. The police had called as the windows of the schoolhouse had been broken and the place vandalized. Jeanette had forgotten to erase her name on the blackboard, hence the phone call. Luckily nothing came of the incident, but I would surmise that Jeanette never unlawfully entered a schoolhouse again!
My book has been available at various Chapters stores in Ottawa; however the company takes 45% which is not very economical for me. The best way to get my book is to purchase it on-line or drop by my house in Kanata if you are in the Ottawa area. I'm happy to sign it to you personally or to someone else you may wish to give it to. Happy New Year!
Do you realize that there is a one-room schoolhouse right in the center of the town of Merrickville, Ontario? There were about 50-60 students, and as many as 80 students in the winter. S.S. No. 6 Oxford was moved from Acton's Corners to inside the Blockhouse by the Rideau Canal in Merrickville in 1902. This is a picture of the inside of the school with the desks facing the windows to make use of the natural light.
On Tuesday, October 30th, I have the opportunity to speak to the Merrickville & District Historical Society . Come and listen to my talk and I'll be pleased to sign a copy of my book for you.
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at the Kanata Seniors Centre. I was pleased to see a longtime friend, Jane Grant, and Nora Georgekish-Watt, my daughter's grade 1 teacher at Stephen Leacock School (Kristin is now 26) in the audience.
Another person in the audience was Dorothy Stanton Boone. She attended S.S. No. 8 Fitzroy at the age of five. When the boy who sat in the desk in front of her had head lice, she ended up with 37 lice, so her father pulled her out of the school. She started back again the next year.
I also met Marian Marcotte Knowles who taught at S.S. No. 7 Rolfton Buchannan & Riley, in Meilleur Bay near Deep River from 1943-1944. It was a lonely time for a 17-year-old living in a boarding house and teaching kids almost as old as she was. She later biked to S.S. No. 4 Pembrooke from 1945-1949 until she married. She is the mother of Terry Marcotte, the CTV Sports announcer.
Frank Holm told me that his uncle, Harry Oldson, used to board teachers for the one-room school in Finmark, 30 miles outside of Port Arthur (Thunder Bay). The cute teachers only lasted one year, as all the guys in the area would arrive and try to get a date. Then the trustees would have to find a new teacher.
Stone Fence Theatre in Eganville is performing "The Schoolhouse" at 178 Jane Street on October 13, 20 and 27. Tickets can by ordered by telephone 613 757-1001 or toll free at 1-866-310-1004 . My book is also for sale and $5.00 from each book will go to support their local theatre.
I'm so sad to tell you that my father, Howard Chamberlain passed away on Friday, September 14th. He was a wonderful father of 4 children - Joy (David) Forbes, Lyn (Wolfgang) Guenther, Gay Chamberlain (Liz Baer) and Lee (Louise) Chamberlain, and grandfather of 7 grandchildren - Andrew & Kristin Forbes, Kurt & Andrea Guenther, Lance, Lucas & Lauren Chamberlain. My book, "Perseverance, Pranks & Pride - Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse" is dedicated to my parents, Howard and Marilyn Chamberlain. Dad always encouraged me throughout my life. He will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be on Friday, October 5th from 7-9pm at the Kelly Funeral Home, 580 Eagleson Road in Kanata. The funeral will be in the chapel at 11am on Saturday, October 6th followed by a reception upstairs. Interment will be at 4pm at St. Peter Anglican Church in Newboyne, Ontario (on County Road 5 off Highway 15, south of Lombardy).
I have a class photo taken outside the Mountain school, which believe
was taken about 80 years ago.
Carl Bryan is in the photo and a Mr. Crowder. Carl Bryan is my father
in law. He does not know who the others might be. Both he and Mr.
Crowder are residents at Bayfield Manor in Kemptville now. They each
have a copy of the photo.
I am attaching it here. If you can help identify anyone, or know the
date, that would be great.
*** Please send information to Joy Forbes.
My father, Abraham Chalk was born in Penetanguishene,Ontario. I visited the one room schoolhouse there when I was 10 years old...approximately 53 years ago. I still remember the school room, and the desks that were on display. Do you have any information about the schoolhouse?
I live in Palm Springs, California...and was a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 28 years. I am trying to accumulate information about my family's history. I know my father (Abraham Chalk, born 1917) finished the sixth grade in that one room schoolhouse. He built a very successful worldwide steel corporation in Los Angeles. He and my mother resided in a lovely home in Beverly Hills, where I grew up. My father's parents owned a general store in Penetanguishene. I know it was a small town then...
If you have any information about the one room schoolhouse, can you e-mail me the information....
I thank you...so very much.
*** If you have any information about this schoolhouse, please contact Joy Forbes.