Located at 270 Cedar Hill Road, Pakenham, Cedar Hill School House is a historic schoolhouse that has been recently renovated. It is ideal for meetings, family reunions, and small parties. It has a seating capacity of 60 people. It is equipped with kitchen and washroom facilities.
S.S. No. 1 Pakenham, 1948 – Courtesy of David Donaldson. Front: Bobby Connery, Ronald Lindsay, Jean Fulton, Bill Taylor, George Deugo, Alvin Timmins, Jack Levi 2nd Row: Fred Forsythe, Glen Timmins, Doreen Taylor, Art Levi, Stuart Timmins Back: Milton Timmins, Bill Donaldson, David Donaldson, Mervin Giles, Jim Levi, Garry Dean
Aunt Margaret had this in a frame but she had the names in behind
it..that she knew- Donna Mcfarlane
One hundred years ago in 1872 the little log schoolhouse of S.S.No. 5 in Ramsay was closed. It was situated at the side of the cross road on the top of the hill, for the road then ran straight over the hill, on the west half of Lot 10 in the Fifth Concession.
The new school was built on one-half acre sold to the trustees for one dollar by Daniel Galbraith. The carpenters were Daniel Watt and Jas. Bryson. In 1893 the well was drilled by
Messrs. Dunlop and Stevenson of Union Hall for $57.50. The trustees at that time were Joseph Smith, Sidney Toop and Robert Yuill.
Another half acre of land was purchased for a playground from Mr. Wm. H. Leach in 1912 for
$50.00. The trustees then were Wm. J. Paul. Augustus Toop and Wm. Gilmour. Miss Nell Forest was the first teacher and there were many through the years as in -the first years many stayed only one year.
These were: Miss Cameron, Miss
Shepherd, Bella Russell, Bella
Scott (Mrs. Andrew Paul), Miss
Jessie Galbraith, Miss Ward, Miss
McDonahue, Miss • H. Dougherty,
Miss Bain, Mrs. R. A. Galbraith),
Miss Nagle, Miss Dark, Miss
Burke, Miss M. Langtry, who
taught in 1896-97 for $275.00 and
later married Hayes Boyd.
Then followed,Miss Bixby, Miss
Moore’ Miss Margaret Langtry.
Miss Warren, Miss Neilson, Miss
Quinn, Miss Ramsay, Miss Butler
(Mrs. Alex McTavishi. Miss Teskey, Miss Laura Houston, Miss
Mary Foley, Miss Martin, Miss
Quinn, Miss Janie MeArton, Mrs.
Wilbert Cochran), Miss O’Donnell, Miss C onn/ Miss O’Donnell,
Miss Frances McIntyre, Mrs.
Chamney Cooke>. Mrs. Brown,
Miss Bronson, Miss H. Cannon.
Miss Eva Gordon, Miss Ethel Rath.
Mr. Hawley, Miss I. Waddell. Miss
Susie McFadden (Mrs. Edgar McCann), Mrs. McCann. Miss Rachael Young,
Miss Leila Campbell
(Mrs. Alex Snedden), Mr. Bert
Knowles, Miss Marjorie Willis,
Miss Grace MacEachern (Mrs.
Harry Toop). Miss Ethel Nicholl.
In 1945 the enrollment was down and the school was closed and the pupils were driven to S.S. No. 14.That year the majority of the schools in the township came under the jurisdiction.
of the Ramsay School board and Mr. Fred Toop was the school’s representative on that board.
In a couple of years the school was reopened with many more
pupils with Miss Ferne Willows and Mrs. John McGill as teacher, Miss Muriel Sweeney, Mrs. Marion Gardiner, Mrs. Margaret Arnott, Mrs. Dorothy DeLaurier, Miss Barbara Brundige, Miss Eleanor Clapp (Mrs. Frank Paul).
In the late fifties a music teacher, Mrs. Dana Featherstone was engaged and continued until the school closed. In 1959 the trustees were Bert Hazelwood, Gordon Thom and Borden Hilliard with Mrs. James Paul, secretary-treasurer. In 1964 the Department of Education forced all small schools to close and the Township School Area was formed.
The trustees levy in 1964 for school purposes was two mills for Galbraith School. The school was used by the Area and Mrs. Jean Stewart taught all grades in 1964-66. Mr. Lyndon Somerton taught Grades 7 and 8 in 1966-67, Mrs. Terry Giffin Grade 1 in 1967-68 and Miss Vivian Moore taught in 1968-69. In 1969 the township schools were sold and the children taken by bus to Almonte or Carleton Place.
Galbraith’s School was sold to Mr. Bert Hazelwood and in its hundredth year was moved across the road to the Hazelwood farm. So another chapter of Ramsay’s history is closed. —
Compiled from the Rocky Ridge Tweedsmuir Book by Mrs, Norman Paul
In the fall of 1927, he arrived at the one-room schoolhouse as a 20-year-old fresh out of teachers’ college. He had no experience and 42 students spread out over Grades 1 to 8 to teach. “Sometimes I have no idea how I got through it,” Lloyd Sutherland, now 91, of Toronto said yesterday while attending the S.S. 4 Ramsay reunion in the Clayton Community Centre. “It was a lot of work, but I got through it.” By the next year, Mr. Sutherland had moved to a better-paying job in Pakenham in these early days of his 44-year career in education across the province, with a gap of four years when he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.
And even though he spent only one year at the school, Mr. Sutherland says the lessons he learned in the village of Clayton, about 60 kilometres west of . Ottawa on the Indian River, were among the most valuable in his career. “You had to be a master at problem-solving, and you had to be good with , your time,” he said. “There were all those kids and just me. It was some of the hardest work I ever did, but some of the most rewarding, too.”
Mr. Sutherland was one of about 100 former students, teachers and administrators who attended the reunion at the village community centre. They couldn’t hold it in the schoolhouse because it’s now a private residence. The village of Clayton is a collection of houses, cottages and businesses clustered around the eastern end of Clayton-Taylor Lake. It is rich in Canadian cultural and social history. Much of that history could be found in the two, one-room schoolhouses that made indelible marks on the memories of teachers and young Clayton residents who passed through their doors in more than a century of learning.
The first schoolhouse was built in1849 and a second, slightly larger one was erected in 1876 to cope with a deluge of new students. Now, 29 years after the village closed its last one-room school in 1969, former teachers and students remembered minute details as if only days had passed since their time at each of the two tiny schools. “In the winter, you always hoped you got a seat close to the stove because the further you got away from it, the colder it got and the building wasn’t insulated,” said Rose Mary Sarsfield, who attended one of the schools from 1952 to 1956 before graduating to the high school in Almonte.
Many of the memories were sparked by a table with old notebooks, textbooks, a small chalkboard and newspaper clippings about the school. There were also a couple of report cards from 1933. One had straight As, the other was not so good. But what drew the eye were several pictures of children sitting cross-legged in front of a schoolhouse. One, from 1898, was particularly interesting.
Although the children were dressed differently some without shoes, some in waistcoats they looked like any group of schoolchildren today. One rapscallion, all but his head hidden in the back row of students, was even sticking out his tongue at the camera. The pictures spoke of a different time that ended in 1969, when rural one-room schools were closed across the province to make way for a new vision of education housed in larger schools in the larger centres of Ontario communities.
In Ramsay Township, 10 small schools were closed and many students including those from Clayton were bused to nearby Almonte to 1 pursue their education in single grades. It was an unceremonious end to a school that was once the pride of the village. Before the first schoolhouse was built, reading, writing and arithmetic were taught out of private homes. Clayton trustees borrowed $450 a overcrowded ‘ at hefty sum in 1849 to build their village’s first school, a debt that had to be paid back within three years. Soon, the one-room was overcrowded with students.
In 1876, a slightly larger school that measured 28 feet by 38 feet (eight metres by 11 metres) was built beside the original. “It had a cloakroom across the back where we could hang our coats,” remembered Ms. Sarsfield. “And bathrooms. There were two bathrooms at the back, one for girls and one for boys. “There was no running water.” At the smaller school, bathroom breaks were even less high-tech. One side of a bush was an outhouse for girls and the other side was for boys.
The next addition to Clayton’s school system was the hallmark of any rural school from that time period: a bell. In 1886, students, teachers and parents hosted concerts at which they charged 10 cents until they raised enough money to buy a bell. The final cost of the bell is unknown, but it hung at the larger school until closing. The bell now hangs at the front of the Dr. James Naismith School in Almonte, about 10 kilometres east of Clayton. During Clayton’s heydays in the late 1880s, there were some 140 pupils shared almost evenly between the two schoolhouses. The smaller building housed the primary grades and the larger one, the senior grades.
Teachers came and went. Their stints generally lasted two or three years. Margaret Bellamy, a longtime resident in the community, figures probably 100 teachers taught in the Clayton schools. “In the start, it was mostly men, but then mostly women by the end,” Mrs. Bellamy said. By the early 1900s, the village population couldn’t sustain a school for primary grades and a second school for senior grades. Down from historic highs, only 60 students attended classes between the two schools. In 1907, the smaller schoolhouse was taken down meticulously piece by piece and moved to Almonte, where it was rebuilt.
Heading into the 1960s, the wave of consolidation began to sweep through the Ottawa Valley as students began moving to larger schools in the region. By 1969 there were perhaps 30 students at Clayton’s remaining school. “Bigger was better, they thought. Truck them all to town and then they’ll all be in single grades. It was a sign of the times, I guess,” *Mrs. Sarsfield said. But for many at the reunion, bigger isn’t better when they reflect on the time they spent at the school. “A lot of people started their education in schools like S.S. 4 Ramsay,” Mr. Sutherland said. “And because they were small, people learned differently. The older students helped teach the younger ones. It gave people more of a sense of community you don’t get in larger schools. “I liked teaching in schools like that, but they’re gone now. Oh well, we’ll just have to remember.” The Fight Over One Room Schools in 1965!
What angered the people of Union Hall particularly was the decision of the Board to transport their pupils to Number 2 School known as Wright’s on the second line a few miles in the direction of Highway 15. Irate ratepayers around Union Hall declare that they have 11 pupils ready to attend their school while the one to which it is proposed to transport the pupils has only six. They insist it is a case of the tail trying to wag the dog.
While the Township School Area Board has made no statement for publication it is understood that the object it had in mind was to save money through eliminating one teacher and other maintenance expenses connected with a school. Two indignation meetings have already been held in the Union Hall in connection with the matter. At the frist one nearly all ratepayers were present although Mr. Dave McIntosh, one of the trustees who lives in that section, did not attend feeling, it is believed, that people would be freer to discuss the situation if he was not there.
It was decided to appoint a delegation to meet the Board and state the case for the ratepayers around Union Hall. But when a second meeting was called for the night of Civic Holiday, the Board signified its readiness to attend so no deputation was necessary. Mr. J. W. Barber of Perth, Public School Inspector for Lanark was asked to be present but he said that in as much as the meeting was to be held on civic holiday he had made other plans. Mr. Bert Miller, Chairman of the Board, who lives near Wright’s School, a fact which the Union Hallers did not fail to note, and his colleagues on the Board, were asked a great many questions and there was much discussion back and forth.
According to people who were present at the meeting, the Board played its cards close to the chest and did not give away its hand by stating what it intends to do. Some think it may rescind its motion to close Number 3 School while others are of the opinion it will persist in its present intention.
I was curious if you had any information on a small school that used to be on the Bathurst line west ( what it’s called now but maybe concession 11?) It’s built on part lot 1 Dalhousie township on the western side of said lot and the foundation is still present. We have owned the property for a number of years and have found little info. Sorry that should read part lot 9. Owner of the lot in 1879 was a B. Avery. Owner of the east side of lot 9 was a Cameron. Thanks.
Doyou have any information? Please email me sav_77@yahoo and I will forward it to Dan Hunton. Thank you!
In praise of school bus drivers: for navigating through conditions of ice, rain, snow and sleet down narrow backroads and high volume highways. For delivering precious cargo from before daylight on cold winter mornings to the beginning of those hot late June afternoons especially when heaters and air conditioners are window operated.
For driving while dealing with all the internal and external complications of a trip. For doing your safety checks, log books, minor repairs, cleaning and forever dealing with mechanical and communication issues. More importantly for being there as that reliable person during such difficult times.