Did you know that Rita MacNeil’s Tea House was originally a one-room schoolhouse on Cape Breton Island? In 1982, she purchased the renovated schoolhouse which was built in 1939. Rita loved living in the house overlooking Bras D’Or Lake (7193 East Bay Highway - Route 4, Big Pond, Nova Scotia). Rita’s Tea Room and Gift Shop officially opened in June 1986. Her daughter manages the tea room which offers warm hospitality, homebaked goodies, full lunches, light dinners, and of course tea!
“Perseverance Pranks & Pride – Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse”- A Christmas Treat
Treat someone special to a gift from Canada’s historical past. Joy Forbes’ book, “Perseverance Pranks & Pride – Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse” is the perfect gift for teachers, students, former teachers & students, history buffs and people who like to reminisce about the past. The stories, most only one page in length, are sure to delight and entertain. Only $25! To date, over 1500 copies have been sold!
To obtain a book, mail a cheque made out to Joy Forbes for $25 to 47 Slade Cres., Kanata, ON K2K 2K9.
Last Sunday, October 30th, I was invited by the Constance Bay Library Book Club and the CBBCA to speak at the Constance Bay Community Centre. It was an appreciative audience and I thank the library for the lovely frame they gave me as a 'thank you' gift.
John Saunderson, who attended S.S. No. 16 Gloucester - Hawthorne Public School, told me this story. A grandmother was babysitting her grandson after school and she asked him what he learned in school that day. She was shocked when he said they had learned how to make babies. He then explained to her that you take the "y" off baby and add "ies".
Marilyn James, whose picture is on page 75 of my book, invited me to speak to the Top Generation Club in the former Ramsayville School (S.S. No. 13 Gloucester). Several members attended this school and other one room schools in the area. It always impresses me the longtime friendships people continue to have which formed from attending one room schools.
Beverly Blake Whyte went to S.S. No. 13 Gloucester from grades 1-6 and again for grade 8. Grades 7 & 8 student had been sent to Hopewell Avenue Public School (O.B.E.) for some years, but due to increasing cost a new two-room school was being built at RAmsayville. This was being constructed the years she went to Hopewell for grade 7. Her father, Cecil Blake went to S.S. No. 13 as a boy and she remembers him being a trustee when she was a student. The year she went off to Lisgar High School, her mother started to teach in the Junior room of the new school and did so for some years. When she left, it was to go as a grade one teacher at BLossom Park. Beverly taught for many years for the Carleton Board of Education in many school in the eastern part of Carleton County.
Belma Alexander Hull attended S.S. No. 18 Gloucester on Russell Road from 1935 to 1943. Mary Brown was her first school teacher. She was just eighteen and it was her first teaching job. She boarded with the Ebbs family right next door to Belma's grandparents, the Childs. Belma walked to school with her teacher in the summer and her Uncle Dick Childs drove them in this horse and cutter in the winter. Mary was Belma's teacher for five years. After she married Thorlow Frazer and lived in Ottawa, she was a supply teacher and sometimes taught Belma's children. Over the age of 90, Mary passed away recently at the Lord Tweedmuir on Bank Street.
I also met Susan and Mike Grohn. Susan was a librarian with the Ottawa Public Library. Her husband went to a one room school in Peace River Alberta. He talks about traveling to school in a horse and cutter. There was even a stove in the cutter to keep the children warm while going to school.
I had a lovely chat with Eleanor MacNaughton the other day. When she attended Ottawa Normal School in 1943, she was required to practice teach in the Hawthorne one room school (S.S. No. 16 Gloucester).
Eleanor’s first school was S.S. No. 14 Charlottenburgh – Maple Ridge School. She taught from 1944-1946 in this school which was located between Lancaster and Alexandria on Maple Road. The Kemptville Agricultural School had sent a landscaper (free of charge) to beautify the school. It did look lovely and included a separate play area for the children. Eleanor resided to start a family, but was lured back to S.S. No. 14 for five years. This school was very tiny with only seven children in five grades. The inspector was impressed with her teaching skills and encouraged her to go to a larger school. When S.S. No. 13 Charlottenburgh – Maple Leaf School couldn’t get a teacher, Eleanor agreed to take the position for one year until they could find another teacher. She remembers parents bringing homemade sandwiches and other treats on Arbour Day, and showing the children how to weed and plant flowers. She laments now that the former schools are no longer a picture of beauty.
Joy Forbes - Author of Perseverance, Pranks and Pride - Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse.