The S.S. #6 Middleville School

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The S.S. #6 Middleville School

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Middleville Public School in 1908– Photo by Laurie Yuill

 

Agnes Yuill began attending the Middleville School in 1900 and sat at a two seater desk and wrote on a slate. There were 50 other children in that school packed on the upper floor, and the room was so full someone had to sit on a globe box. But you have to remember that classes were large in those days as everyone had a large family and at one point there were over 100 young children attending that school. There wasn’t any electricity back then, so light came from the windows and a few lamps. The schoolhouses were heated by large metal stoves that burned wood. Parents in the school district were expected to chip in to provide wood for the school, so lots of times kids might walk to school carrying a log or two!

 

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Can you imagine what it was like to walk to school in the winter? They used to have two stoves running: an upstairs stove made by James Brothers of Perth and downstairs a Findlay Stove and the schoolhouse was always warm with the two stoves going.

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 Photo by Laurie Yuill

 

Jim Bowes, Agnes Yuill, Jane Yuill, & Alex Buchanan Yuill in Hopetown, July 1913
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1977 Perth Courier

 

Paper and books were hard to get, so textbooks were often shared. To do math problems or write out answers, students used slates during class. For big exams or to practice handwriting, paper and pens would be used, but the pens back then were very different.

They were often made out of quills from birds and were dipped in pots of ink in order to write. That could lead to things getting messy! Ink spills and stains can really mess up a test! Even using pencils was tricky — the pencils had to be sharpened with knives! In the country and small towns, schools went up to Grade 8. High schools — or as they was called then, grammar schools — were in cities or big towns. So usually only children with rich parents got to go to school past Grade 8.

 

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In the country and small towns, schools went up to Grade 8. High schools — or as they was called then, grammar schools — were in cities or big towns. So usually only children with rich parents got to go to school past Grade 8.

When kids did get to go to school, they were expected to memorize lots of things, standing in front of the schoolroom to recite their lessons. The subjects were mainly reading, math and writing, with others like geography added to the curriculum in 1850 and history in 1860.

 

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Kids hardly ever got perfect attendance. Bad weather kept everyone away, and when students’ families lived on farms, they were expected to help out and stay home from school when things got busy. The reason we have summer vacation today is because summer is when everything’s growing and the family was needed in the fields.

The Middleville school became what is now the Middleville Museum and the Museum has catalogued the history of the school which was one of 10 school sections in the township from 1822 until the last class in 1969.  Although the building was built in 1869 the first school house was built in 1822 when a log house was erected on the site where the old Presbyterian manse had stood.

Some favourite teachers that came out of the Middleville School was: Libie Rogers, a teacher at the school, was one of the 40 Canadians selected to go to Africa to instruct Boer children in concentration camps. J. H. McFarlane who also taught in Carleton Place taught there. His son was Leslie McFarland author of the Hardy Boys book series. Situated on a small mound the history that lies in that building will be passed on to future generations.

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 and The Tales of Almonte

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Middleville School Photos- Laurie Yuill

Photos of Laurie Yuill- Somerville/Mather Picnic 1937–Charles Home, Lloyd Knowles House–Foster Family

Mr. Lionel Barr’s Store Middleville and Other Mementos –‎Laurie Yuill‎

Middleville– Yuill- Photos Laurie Yuill

Did you Know we have a “World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. The Middleville and District Museum is creating a history board on the developments of the Museum. We are starting with the historic school. I was writing to get permission to use a couple of sentences from your post of Aug 13, 2018 on the SS#6 Middleville School. You will be given credit for the entry. Sharon Stead

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