Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888

Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888



This is a photo with some local folks at the School for Deaf and Dumb in Belleville- Faded writing makes me want to research this photo so all is not lost. May 1888–Deaf and Dumb

“Mother’s Uncle Mr. David Watson and students from the Deaf and Dumb School in Belleville”

Dr. Clifton F. Carbin emailed and said this:
The top photo under the heading “Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888” was NOT taken in Belleville, Ontario. In fact, it was taken in 1888 at the Washington School for Defective Youth in Vancouver, Washington (later renamed Washington State School for the Deaf), The couple on the far right were identified as James Watson (school director) and his wife, Cecilia (nee McGann) Watson (school matron and teacher).

Mr. Watson was born on May 5, 1840 in Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario. He taught at the Ontario Institution for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf) in Belleville from 1870 to 1887, and was the director of the Washington School for Defective Youth in Vancouver, Washington from 1887 to 1906. He died in Salem, Oregon, on November 15, 1920
I would like to have a direct communication with the person who owns the photo and/or any of the Watson relatives.
I forgot to mention that the couple on the far right in the photo was cropped and not visible. I have a scanned copy of the full photo.
Thank you,
Dr. Clifton F. Carbin
Author, Deaf Heritage in Canada (1996)

Deaf and Dumb

“Deaf and dumb” (or even just “dumb”, when applied to deaf people who do not speak) is an archaic term that is considered offensive.

Many Deaf people do not use a spoken language, thus they are technically “mute”. The word “dumb” has at least an archaic meaning that means “mute”. Of course, the word “dumb” also has another more common meaning now that implies stupidity, which is certainly not applicable to most Deaf people.

Given the long history of deafness, and the fact that Deaf people have been incorrectly assumed to be mentally deficient just because they do not speak, you can imagine that most Deaf people do not appreciate being called “Deaf and Dumb”.

Today, anyone using the word “dumb” in such context is …. well … dumb.

Image result for deaf and dumb belleville

The Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf was founded in 1870 in Belleville, Ontario, known then as The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. It was renamed in 1913 as the Ontario School for the Deaf. It has been known as the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf since 1974.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sat, Nov 17, 1906 – Page 19

 - Marvelous Pro Is BthglhAt Boss Welfare...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  27 Dec 1930, Sat,  Page 26



 - DEAF AND DUMB PUPILS, Belleville. Ont. Sent 24....

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  24 Sep 1903, Thu,  Page 8

 - j Work of School For Deaf Shown In pro- cere-a...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  24 Oct 1933, Tue,  Page 18




George Ackermann taught art at the Brockville Deaf and Dumb Institute (he was probably deaf and dumb himself) and painted most attractive na’ive topographical water-colours. One is of a local militia rally near Brockville in 1869, with relatives and lady friends picnicing along the roadside in a holiday mood; others show

Ackermann, George, 1816/7 – after 1860, active 1866-77, (McKendry;  Harper; Folk Artists; Painters in a New Land;
——Coverdale Collection of Canadiana; Biographical Index of Artists in Canada)

Ackermann, George, Court House and Jail on Court House Square, Brockville,
Ontario, watercolour on paper, circa 1870, 34.7 x 52.1 cm, National Archives
of Canada, Ottawa, C 40351.

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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