S.S. 18 Knowles School — Nearby to McIllquham’s Bridge

S.S. 18 Knowles School — Nearby to McIllquham’s Bridge


S.S. 18 Knowles School

S.S. 18 Knowles School was located in a small clearing on the farm of a Mr. Ralston located on Lot 6  Con. 12 built in 1844 nearby to McIllquham’s Bridge. The daughter of a local farmer, Maria Dayton was the first teacher with a yearly salary of $36. Griselda Menna taught after Miss Dayton left to get married and she received every second Saturday off and two weeks holiday.  In 1855 Griselda was awarded an extra $64 a year making her salary an even $100 per annum.

In  late 1854 the school was moved to a better central location at the corner of the Perth Road and 12th Line on land donated by Abraham Jackson. It was said that the old school was dragged to its new home with new additions of new windows, floor and clapboards being placed over the original logs. Of course Miss Menna came along with the move and continued to teach school until 1865. No word if her salary had been increased, and I can not find mention of her or her family anywhere, which is odd, especially with a first name of Griselda.

By 1887 a new school was needed, and a site half a mile north and across the 12th concession was chosen to build a new frame school. The school was in use until 1968, except for the years 1945 and 1953 when the population of the school was only 4 pupils. During those specific years students attended the school in Lanark Village.

A motion passed in 1967-68 by the Drummond Township School Area Board, to close the small schools in the area and to build a large school which would be central for the children in the township. A ten acre field in Drummond Centre was purchased and on this property was built a school which consisted of eight classrooms, a staff room, a library, a health room, a gymnasium, a kitchen, offices and change rooms, as well as washrooms and supply rooms.

In June of 1968 the following rural schools closed their doors:

S. S. No. 3 2 nd Line S. S. No. 13 Drummond Centre

S. S. No. 8 Wayside S. S. No. 15 McIlquahm’s

S. S. No. 9 Code’s S. S. No. 16 Prestonvale

S. S. No. 11 Balderson S. S. No. 17 Innisville

S. S. No. 12 McGarry’s S. S. No. 18 Knowles

These building were later sold and turned into homes except for one, Innisville, which has been turned into a museum. In September 1968, the shiny new school was ready for students.

The first staff consisted of:

Principal: Mr. Walter Kane

Grade 1: Mrs. Carmel Fergusson Grade 5: Mrs. Bertha Livingstone

Grade 2: Mrs. Gladys Thomas Grade 6: Mrs. Verna Montgomery

Grade 3: Mrs. Dorothy Cavanagh Grade 7: Mrs. Laura Thomson

Grade 4: Mrs. Lila McFarlane Grade 8: Mrs. Edythe Moulton/Mr. Kane

Music: Mr. Robert Adamson Art: Mrs. Renals

Secretary: Mrs. Connie Ebbs Custodians: Alan and Marion Wedenmaier

January 17, 1969 marked the official opening of the school with a large crowd with many dignitaries attending, including trustees, John C. Ebbs – Chairman, William J. L. Playfair, J. Barrie Frizell, Thomas J. James, Gordon D. McIntosh, W. Keith McLaren and Lloyd M. Knowles, Secretary-Treasurer and George M. Nobes, Area Superintendent.

The first year saw the building of the garage, donation of plaques and trophies to honor outstanding achievement in various areas, and the graduation of eighteen grade eight students.


Local Knowles Family

 - : . Edith Rae Knowles Dies in Toronto LANARK...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 13 Sep 1949, Tue,
  3. Page 16
  4.  - I ' ' ' Malcolm M. Knowles Lanark Cheeseman...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 23 Oct 1952, Thu,
  3. Page 36

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


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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