Photo from Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The story of high schools in Carleton Place is a lengthy one with many interesting sidelights. The corner stone of the present High School (Prince of Wales High School) was laid in 1923 and under it was placed a scroll containing the following information:
The High School has made many moves since it was started, about 1848, as a Grammar School. Mr. Nelson, a highly educated gentleman, was the first teacher. The first building used was a frame one on the Central School grounds.
From there it was moved to Hurd’s Hall on Bell Street, being the upper flat of the building for many years known as McKay’s Bakery. After that the present Holiness Church on the corner of Bridge and Herriott Streets, was used for a short time. Then the north-east room in the present Central School was used.
From here it was moved to Newman’s Hall, in the rooms now occupied as temporary quarters for a High and a Public School class. This school went back again to the Central School building for a short time, until the present used building on High Street was ready for occupation in 1882.Note: Newman’s Hall is the building now occupied by the Brewers’ Retail Store and the school on High Street is the present Prince of Wales School.
In the ad above it cost 50 cents to the students to participate in the High School Entrance Examination.
CARLETON PLACE HIGH SCHOOL 1897– Almonte Gazette
In my recommendation to His Honor Lieutenant Governor in Council of the 3rd October 1879 on the subject of the Carleton Place High School in connection with the bylaw of the Lanark County Council proposing to discontinue the same (with other schools), submitted that although the Inspector recommended that the school should be temporarily suspended, with a view-to being closed, unless the requisite accommodation was provided without delay, this subject should be further considered in case the present default of the Board should be found to continue after the close of this year.
I have since received the report of inspector Uuclian, in which hesitates that in view of the facts therein stated, namely* (I) that two respectable rooms have been secured for the present use o f the High School, but.by .giving inferior rooms to the Public School; (2) that Carleton Place has enjoyed the benefit of a High school for many years at a nominal expense to the ratepayers; (3) that poor accommodations furnished for many years were overlooked in the expectation that good permanent accommodations would ultimately be provided.
That a promise was made to Inspector Marling in the first half of 1877 that a building for the High School should be provided, and that relying thereupon the payment of the grant for that and the succeeding half year was recommended, and that the present Board shows no disposition to provide a separate building and play grounds, he therefore recommends that the grant for the current half year be withheld, and that the Board of Education be notified that unless their promise in regard to adequate accommodations is fulfilled before first day of January, 1881, that in effect the bylaw of the County Council to discontinue such High School, and that the grant for the current half year be withheld.
While I concur with the Inspector in his report, and am prepared to recommend to the Lieut.-Governor in Council that effect; be given to the by-law of the County Council until satisfactory accommodation is provided before the first day of January, 1881.
I do not think it expedient that the grant for this half year be withheld from the Board, and it will therefore be paid accordingly. (Sgd.) Adam Crooks. Dec. 5,1879. Minister of Education.