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
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