SS # 5, Herron Mills school, which was originally SS # 5, Gilles Mills when John Gilles sold his mills to John Herron, in 1871.
August 10 1950– Almonte Gazette
ATTEMPT MADE TO CLOSE SCHOOL NO 3 IN UNION HALL AREA 2
Sparks are flying in the Union Hall section these days over action taken by the Ramsay School Area Board to close Number Three school which is located about half a mile east of the second line on the road leading into Almonte. Ratepayers up there declare that the first intimation they received of the Township Board’s contemplated action was an item in the published minutes of a recent meeting stating that action had been taken to close the school.
Union Hall built in 1857
What angered the people of Union Hall particularly was the decision of the Board to transport their pupils to Number 2 School known as Wright’s on the second line a few miles in the direction of Highway 15. Irate ratepayers around Union Hall declare that they have 11 pupils ready to attend their school while the one to which it is proposed to transport the pupils has only six. They insist it is a case of the tail trying to wag the dog.
While the Township School Area Board has made no statement for publication it is understood that the object it had in mind was to save money through eliminating one teacher and other maintenance expenses connected with a school. Two indignation meetings have already been held in the Union Hall in connection with the matter. At the frist one nearly all ratepayers were present although Mr. Dave McIntosh, one of the trustees who lives in that section, did not attend feeling, it is believed, that people would be freer to discuss the situation if he was not there.
It was decided to appoint a delegation to meet the Board and state the case for the ratepayers around Union Hall. But when a second meeting was called for the night of Civic Holiday, the Board signified its readiness to attend so no deputation was necessary. Mr. J. W. Barber of Perth, Public School Inspector for Lanark was asked to be present but he said that in as much as the meeting was to be held on civic holiday he had made other plans. Mr. Bert Miller, Chairman of the Board, who lives near Wright’s School, a fact which the Union Hallers did not fail to note, and his colleagues on the Board, were asked a great many questions and there was much discussion back and forth.
According to people who were present at the meeting, the Board played its cards close to the chest and did not give away its hand by stating what it intends to do. Some think it may rescind its motion to close Number 3 School while others are of the opinion it will persist in its present intention.
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My mother told an interesting sidelight to the story about the meetings to decide the fate of the Union Hall school.
Mom’s uncle, Gordon Dunlop, was what would now be called “developmentally disabled”, but he knew the difference between fresh fruit and spoiled fruit.
His parents, Bill and Annie (McKay) Dunlop were at one of the meetings mentioned here and Bill’s sister, Jennie Compo, was either living with them or visiting at the time.
Aunt Jennie was a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, and she and Grandpa (a steward at Guthrie United Church in Clayton) regularly got into debates about various doctrinal differences, with him telling her “That’s NOT the way your parents raised you!”
While Bill and Annie were at the meeting Jennie started cooking some chokecherries in the kitchen, and when Gordon recognized the cherries were spoiled he threw pot and all out the window.
Jennie wasn’t too well pleased and demanded to know why he had thrown them out; he told her they were bad.
Of course, then she wanted to know where his parents were–he told her they were at the school.
When she asked what they were doing at the school he said they were at a meeting.
Her next question was “What’s the meeting about?”
Mom, who was recovering from a recent surgery, heard these exchanges as she was coming down the stairs from having a rest replied “To decide which is the seventh day!”
Mom said Aunt Jennie jumped at least a foot in the air, and was fuming until Bill and Annie returned from the meeting. When they heard about it they had a good laugh, which I’m sure didn’t improve Jennie’s mood any.