David and I met many people who had taught or attended one-room schools in many areas. Diane Jost continues to teach students at the Rideau Learning Center outside of Manotick. Over 50 years ago, she started her teaching career in a one-room school in Prince Edward County.
Bruce Dempsey remembered his teacher, Norma Stevens from Westport. She taught him at Hurdman’s Bridge Public School on Russell Road. Ross Taylor, his father Earl Taylor and his daughter, Myrna, all attended S.S. No. 6 Osgoode (Allen School) on Stagecoach Road, south of Dalmeny Road. It is now a house. He recalled teachers Mrs. Craig, Dorothy Bradley, Sam Murdoch, Jane Shepherd and Mrs. Flake. Rolland Perras went to the French school, S.S. No. 13 Embrun on the corner of 300 and St. Guillaume.
Gordon Weedmark walked to the two-room school in Buritts Rapids. Miss Gray was better on administering the strap daily than Laura Christie who taught Grades 5-8 upstairs, and sometimes Grades 9 & 10 too. Mrs. Olive Davies had Grades 1-4 downstairs. Gordon also had Jean Newans for music. His wife, Jean Moore, taught at Acton’s Corners and Todd’s Corners Schools.
Karen Lowe attended another two-room school in Vars. Her mother and father were the caretakers. Karen loved sliding down the snow banks, but it was a different matter when her tongue got stuck on the cold fence.
Lillian Paul felt the pressure was on to perform at the Foxley River School on Prince Edward Island. The nuns made their students line up and would ask them questions. If they answered correctly, they would remain at the head of the line, if not, back they went to the end of the line. When a pupil finished the book for their grade, on they went to the next grade.
Gordon Reoch’s family were Empire Loyalists. He told me that students at S.S. No. 4 Winchester (Ormond Public School) loved to terrorize the teacher with mice. The boys would put a live mouse in the match box in the drawer of the teacher’s desk, and wait for her to reach for a match to light the stove. To their delight, the teacher would yell and scream and jumped on top of the desk when the terrified mouse jumped out of the box. Even though everyone was kept after school for a week, no one squealed on the guilty parties.
During my presentation, I asked how many people had received the strap. Several raised their hands. Ronald Legault remembers getting the strap from Lionel O’Connor in 1964 because he was caught chewing gum. He never admitted that it hurt.
Did you get the strap? What did you get it for?