nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘old school houses’ Category

two old schools in Carleton County, New Brunswick

with 2 comments

On our way home from Victoria County last weekend, we took the rural road from Hartland through Millville. We found two old one room schools along the way.

~

carlisle area schools

The location of two old schools in Carleton County. (Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition, 1998)

~

IMG_4686

The first of these was in Lower Windsor, Carleton County (once called Windsor Settlement).

in 1898 Lower Windsor was a settlement with a post office and a population of 100

to the north was Windsor, settled about 1840: PO 1864-1945: in 1866 Windsor was a farming settlement with approximately 50 resident families: in 1871 it had a population of 200: in 1904 Windsor had 1 post office, 1 store, 1 church and a population of 200.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

~

When I got out of the truck to take some photos, I was overwhelmed by the smell of licorice. The source was Wild Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), probably planted at the site (now used as a cottage).

~

IMG_4706

Carlisle School, Carleton County 2016

~

The next school was in Carlisle, Carleton County.

first called Northville Settlement: renamed Carlisle with creation of the post office: PO 1877-1924: in 1898 Carlisle was a settlement with 1 sawmill, 1 grist mill, 1 church and a population of 300.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

~

The door of this old school was open to the elements.

~

Although I intend to focus my ‘old schools’ writing project in Kings, Queens, Sunbury and York Counties, I am delighted to have found these old schools in Carleton County!

~

The distance between these two old schools was 4.5 kilometres. Not far unless you are a young child on a snowy day!

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

uphill and down

with 8 comments

While doing a search for a particular plant we know grows in the area, my husband and I took a side road through rural Victoria County in New Brunswick. We drove from Route 109 (near the top of the map), south through Upper Kintore and Lower Kintore, to Muniac, a distance of about 23 kilometres.

~

IMG_4672

(Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, First Edition)

~

Kintore was settled in 1873 and named for the town of Kintore near Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1898, Kintore was a railway station and had a post office and a population of 75. (Source: New Brunswick Archives)

~

IMG_4637

church and school house in Upper Kintore 2016

~

Interesting to me was the very well-cared-for one room Upper Kintore School, built in 1877.

~

IMG_4652

Upper Kintore School built 1877

~

Our drive took us uphill through Upper Kintore, along Big Flat Brook (a tributary of the Tobique River). The road peaked at Lawson Hill and then ran down, through Lower Kintore. Again, the road followed a watercourse, the Muniac Steam (a tributary of the Saint John River). As we drove we talked about the road — the earliest roads took the easy way, along the brooks. The southern part of the road was banked by steep rocky roadcuts.

~

IMG_4662

the Muniac Stream near Lower Kintore

~

Since I am interested in the plants children might encounter on their way to school, I was happy that this is the time in New Brunswick when most of our roadside wild flowers are in bloom. We saw Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia serotina Nutt.), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.), Bedstraw (Galium sp.), Daisy (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum L.), Bladder-Campion (Silene Cucubalus Wibel) and Meadow Rue (Thalictrum polygamum Muhl.). Quite a bouquet! I have to remain aware that some of these plants have become very weedy and invasive since the early 1900s and may have been hard to find in the 1800s. For example, in the photo below, just above the Black-eyed Susan, you will notice a plant of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa L.). In New Brunswick, Wild Parsnip is a invasive species, probably introduced by Europeans in the 18th century as a food source.

~

IMG_4671

Black-eyed Susan along the road

~

Do you have any favorite rural drives through communities with interesting histories?

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

early schools – old maps, photos and diaries

with 6 comments

Last week, my husband and I visited the New Brunswick Museum Archives and had a look at three sources of information on old one room schools in New Brunswick:

  • the Walling Map – shows the location of roads, family homes, businesses, churches and schools in 1862 in Kings and St. John Counties
  • the photo collection by Marion Johnston Dunphy who photographed 150 schools from 1974 to 1984 – The One Room Schools of New Brunswick and What Became of Them
  • the diary of C. Gordon Lawrence, teacher at the Tracy school (Sunbury County, New Brunswick) in 1903. His diaries chronicle his experiences as a school teacher from 1903 to 1962!

~

Thanks to the Walling Map, from now on, when we go for a drive to find old schools in Kings County, we will know exactly where to look. Also, I will know something about the landscape setting for each school – the key component of the poetry I intend to write!

~

With the photos, I was able to check the identity of some of the schools we have already found. A good example is the school building at Mill Road, near Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick (below). From the photos in the Marion Johnston Dunphy collection, I was able to verify this as the Lawfield School, Gagetown #1. I signed an agreement not to share the Dunphy photos on the Internet, but I will be able to use them to prompt ideas for my poems.
~

Mill Road School, Gagetown 2~

We also looked at C. Gordon Lawrence’s diary from 1903. This contains his day to day experiences as a 17 year old teacher at the Tracy School. He did not detail his observations of the natural world, but there are gems in the diaries for a poet! For example, after a long bout with chicken pox, he was feeling very ill and wrote: ‘… a dose of Pain killer failed to work but a dose of blackberry cordial gave me relief …’.

~

Gordon Lawrence’s diary includes a map of the location of the school. It is faint but shows where the school was located, not far from the North Branch of the Oromocto River. The roads have changed significantly since 1903 – back roads to Harvey and St. Stephen were the main roads in 1903!

~

The three items we looked at are only a sampling of the information available at the Archives. With these preliminary investigations, I can now begin to write my proposal for ‘a manuscript of poems about one room schools in the landscape’.  I will be sure to let you know if my proposal is successful!

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

Written by jane tims

July 20, 2016 at 7:35 am

playing alleys

with 9 comments

Kids in the school yard have played marbles since the late 1800s, when glass marbles were first produced for the mass market.

~

When my mom talked about marbles, she always referred to them as alleys, no matter what material was used in their construction. According to Wikipedia, alleys were a specific type of marble. Almost every kind of marble has a specific name. When my son played and collected marbles in the 1980s, some of these terms were regularly heard in our home.

aggie – made of agate

alley – a marble made of alabaster

bumblebee – a yellow and black glass marble

cat’s eye – a marble with a eye-like inclusion

crystal – a clear glass marble of various colours

galaxy – opaque marble with coloured dots

oily – an opaque marble with a sheen or oily finish

onionskin – a marble with surface streaks of colour

ox blood – a marble with a streak of dark red

pearl – opaque marble of single colour and a mother of pearl finish

plainsie – a clear glass marble with inclusion of two or more swirled ribbons of colour

swirly – glass marble with a ribbon inclusion of a single colour

tiger – a clear marble with orange and yellow stripes

~

There are lots of other marble types and names.

 

June 21 2016 'playing marbles' Jane Tims

~

The language of marbles extends to the various moves in the game:

knuckle down – put hand in position to shoot

keepsies – to play for keeps

quitsies – stop playing without consequences

firing – to shoot a marble

~

Such interesting possibilities for the language of a poem!

~

Writing about a game of marbles will include all the senses (I think my poem will be from the point of view of a boy playing marbles):

sound – clinking of dishes in the sink; grinding of marbles together in the marble bag

taste – grit of sand stirred by wind across the playground; grit of raspberry seeds

feel – the cold smooth feel of a marble; a chunk of icicle from the roof in December

smell – stirred dust; girls watching the games, smelling of Ivory soap and well water

sight – bubble rising through the glass of the marble; bubbles with rainbows sliding; dew drops on Lady’s Mantle in the garden

~

I can hardly wait to write a poem about playing marbles in the school yard!

~

~

Copyright  2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

dancing around the daisy pole

with 4 comments

Perhaps strange to talk about a Maypole in July but Maypoles have been used for summer celebrations throughout the years. In the old stereoscope photo below, published by a company in Meadville Pennsylvania and  St. Louis Missouri, the Maypole is referred to as a Daisy Pole.

~

Maypole

A rather blurry scan of a stereoscopic photo, blurry because it is curved for the viewer. The title of the photo is ‘A June Carnival – Dancing Round the Daisy Pole’ 1900

~

When my Aunt Jane was young, attending a small school in Nova Scotia, field days were held in June. In her book, she recalls participating in a field day:

… I was in grade 1 … we had a “field day”. My dress was made of blue and white crepe paper and, holding on to the end of a white paper streamer, I danced around a May pole. I remember my great embarrassment as a gust of wind took the streamer out of my hand and sent it high in the air to flutter in the breeze …

~

 

IMG_4470

The decorative Maypole we made years ago to celebrate May 1 every year. Through the years, when I needed ribbon, I occasionally snipped a length from the pole, so there are a few short ribbons!

~

July 1 2016 'dancing around the daisy pole' Jane Tims

~

daisy pole plan

sketch for ‘dancing around the daisy pole’ … in some ways more lively than the final drawing

~

~
Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

one room schools – distractions on the way to school

with 7 comments

I am thinking about the ways landscape would have influenced the day at a one room school in New Brunswick one hundred years ago. As we drove some of the back roads in the Stanley area this past weekend, I tried to think like a child on the way to school. So many distractions!

~

DSCF2149

~

First, the views. Fields green with new corn, yellow with buttercups, winter-white with daisies …

~

DSCF2108

~

And daisies to pick, perhaps a bouquet for a favorite teacher …

~

DSCF2118

~

Brooks to cross, and the lure of watching for fingerlings in the clear water …

~

DSCF2138

~

And a farmer’s pond, with ducks to watch, fish to feed, frogs to hunt and cat-tails …

~

DSCF2129

~

Hillsides of fragrant hay-scented fern to roll in …

~

DSCF2172

~

Orchards to play in and ripe fruit to gather …

~

It makes me wonder how anyone ever made it to school.

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

 

early schools – the exotic and the common

with 4 comments

In my Aunt’s book about early schooling in Nova Scotia, she tells an amusing story about field days at school:

… I recall another field day when Dr. DeWolfe, Miss Harris, and Miss Baker came with shrubs to our school. The shrubs were ten cents each. My mother had always longed for a weigela and a snowball and we were delighted that at last she could have her wish, for both these varieties were among Dr. DeWolf’s  collection. They were duly planted at my home on the bank of the French River. One turned out to be a high bush cranberry and the other a spiraea, but today we still refer to them as the “snowball” and “weigela” and, I may mention, they have many an offspring throughout our province.

~

I must have seen the high bush cranberry and spiraea many times at my mother’s old home, but I don’t remember them in particular. I do remember the gardens, lush with rose bushes, tiger lilies, and grape vines.

~

June 17 2016 'an exotic shrub' Jane Tims

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

%d bloggers like this: