Outhouses Need to Be Cleaned– Conditions of Our Rural School– 1897



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Screenshot from the Report of the Minister of Education 1889–F. L. M i c h e l l , P. S. Inspector

May 28, 1897 Almonte Gazette


S.S. No. 12, Lanark (James).—A good building on an excellent site. The room needs cleaning and the outhouses, especially the woodshed, need repairing. School work greatly improved, but still inferior in some subjects. Order and discipline good.

S.S. No. 3, Ramsay (Union Hall).— One of the neatest and prettiest school properties in the county. The trustees and teacher seem determined to keep the school in a front rank. The school Walls have been neatly papered (the only school in the district thus finished). This together with a full supply of good pictures presented by the parents gives the room a comfortable home-like appearance. Contact with neatness and beauty must exercise a beneficial influence on the formation of character. Thanks to trustees and teacher for their pioneer effort towards a more cheerful state of things in the school room. The teacher is energetic and enthusiastic, and his school ranks among the best in the inspectorate.

S.S No. 1, Pakenham (Cedar Hill).— An excellent building on an ample site. School dirty and yard overgrown in places with weeds. Outhouses need repairs and cleaning. Some of the desks are broken. This state of things is not usual in this section. The teacher, though without previous experience, is doing very fair work and will doubtless have better results at next visit.


S.S No. 2, Pakenham (Sadler’s).— Accommodation excellent except floor. The blackboards need renewing. Excellent yard, but outbuilding dirty. The school is in charge of a teacher of wide and successful experience, and the standing is good in all classes. A first-class school.

S.S No. 3, Pakenham (Ellis)—Excellent school house and site. The floor is worn out and the fence very unsubstantial. Outhouses must be cleaned. Here also, an experienced and energetic teacher is in charge, and though the full programme is taught, the work is well done. The grading excellent in standing, order and discipline.

S.S. No. 5, Pakenham (Scott’s)—A commodious building, but dirty and out of repair. Blackboards bad and new window blinds needed. The fences are in a disgraceful condition ; no pump and general neglect apparent. As this is one of the wealthiest sections in the county, such a condition of things is inexcusable. No grant can be paid unless the necessary improvements are attended to. The school work is exceedingly well done and the standing very satisfactory. Though the attendance is large the order is excellent.

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Screenshot from the Report of the Minister of Education 1889–F. L. M i c h e l l , P. S. Inspector


S.S No. 6, Pakenham (Doyle’s).— An excellent new school on a well chosen site. Out-house needs repairing and cleaning. School work, except in grammar, is good, The attendance in some cases has been irregular.

S. S. No. 7, Pakenham (Bellamy’s Road).—Building greatly improved, but it needs sheeting within. The yard is not fenced as the law requires. The school work is below the average and the classification is very unsatisfactory. A regular certificated teacher must be engaged in future. The increase in attendance is phenomenal.

S. S. No. 8, Pakenham (Lowe’s). A good building, but in need of cleaning and painting. The yard should be levelled and large stones removed. The standing is fair—writing, arithmetic metic and literature below the average, owing in many cases to irregularity.

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Screenshot from the Report of the Minister of Education 1889–F. L. M i c h e l l , P. S. Inspector

S. S. No. 11, Ramsay (Appleton) An excellent brick schoolhouse of two divisions, but getting out of repair through continued neglect. Floor will soon need renewing. Desks cumbersome and uncomfortable. School should be reseated with modern desks. Outhouses need cleaning. The attendance is increasing and the school work well done in the senior division and fairly done in the junior. The order is generally satisfactory. Good work should be done here this year.

S. S. No. 12, Ramsay (Simpsons). A very comfortable brick school on a good site. The walls must be repaired and interior repaired and cleaned. Floor, bad in places. Gates, need attention and outhouses must be cleaned. The school attendance increasing and the work exceptionally well done. The teacher is earnest and competent. Trustees act wisely in securing tried, successful teachers, since loss of time and opportunity must often result when the opposite course is pursued.

F. L. M i c h e l l , P. S. Inspector




S.S. No. 1 Pakenham-The One Room Schoolhouse

Rural Schools: Ramsay Township etc, Pages of the Past, County of Lanark, Ontario Canada”.  To purchase this book and others, go to www.archiveslanark.ca .



Don’t you just feel for those folks using these when it’s -20C.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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