nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘old schools

two old schools in Carleton County, New Brunswick

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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.

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

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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

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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).

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Carlisle School, Carleton County 2016

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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

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

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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!

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

uphill and down

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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.

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(Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, First Edition)

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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)

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church and school house in Upper Kintore 2016

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

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Upper Kintore School built 1877

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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.

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the Muniac Stream near Lower Kintore

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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.

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Black-eyed Susan along the road

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

dancing around the daisy pole

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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.

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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

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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 …

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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!

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

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daisy pole plan

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

one room schools – distractions on the way to school

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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!

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

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

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

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

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Hillsides of fragrant hay-scented fern to roll in …

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Orchards to play in and ripe fruit to gather …

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

 

Arbour Day in New Brunswick – 1888

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In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of trees in the school yard and the celebration of Arbour Day in schools in Nova Scotia during the early 1900s. One room schools in New Brunswick also celebrated Arbour Day.

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The 1888 Annual Report of the Schools of New Brunswick, by the Chief Superintendent of Education, reports on 1888 Arbour Day celebrations in New Brunswick, years before the first official Arbour Day in Ontario, Canada (1906).  The purpose of Arbour Day celebrations in the school was:

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to encourage the improvement and ornamentation of school grounds and thereby of cultivating on the part of pupils habits of neatness and order, and a taste for the beautiful in nature …

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In 1888 New Brunswick schools celebrated Arbour Day on May 18.  In the whole province, students planted 6,571 trees, 650 shrubs and 393 flower beds!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 20, 2016 at 7:00 am

early schools – searching for old schools

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Last weekend we went on another excursion to try and find some remaining one room schools. We drove from Geary south to Gagetown by way of Westfield, in a loop, going down many side roads.  We found six buildings that may have been one room schools. We were in a hurry so we did not stop to ask anyone about their knowledge of the area. That will happen on a future trip when I have a little more information. (Added note: on July 7, 2016, I visited the New Brunswick Museum Archives and was able to verify the information below from 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. Verifications are indicated below in brackets.)

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Map showing our drive to find one room school houses … the yellow dots and names in blue show the buildings we considered.

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The one room school in Patterson is part of an historical settlement created by the community. It is typical of a one room school house in every way. It also has an outhouse. The historical settlement has the school, a church, a store, a house and a barn.

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Patterson School at Patterson, Queens and partly Sunbury Counties, New Brunswick

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This old building in Lower Greenwich is in poor shape, deteriorated since I took the photo below in October of 2014. In spite of the embellishments it has all the characteristics of a one room school. (This building has been verified as Greenwich School from photos at Archives)

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Meeting hall in Lower Greenwich, Kings County, New Brunswick

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The Central Greenwich Women’s Institute (GEMS Senior Citizens) has an addition with a basement. Although it looks like a school, the middle side window is twice as wide as the other windows.(This building has been verified as Central Greenwich School from photos at Archives)

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Women’s Institute building in Central Greenwich, Kings County, New Brunswick

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A little house near Oak Point caught our eye. It was the same size as a one room school, but the windows and doors were all in the wrong places. The locations of these could have been changed to improve access and conform to an internal plan, but it may be just a small house. (This building has been verified as Oak Point School from photos at Archives)

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roadside building near Oak Point, Kings County, New Brunswick

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There were two school-like buildings at Queenstown. The first was a small building used by the Hampstead Local Service District ( a governance unit in un-incorporated areas). This building had only two windows on each side and an added garage. (This building has been verified as Queenstown School, also called Hampstead #2 from photos at Archives)

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Hampstead Local Service District building, Queenstown, Queens County, New Brunswick

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The second was just down the road, within sight of the Hampstead LSD building. It was larger than the LSD building, had an addition to the back, a stone basement and a tin roof, and was built on a slope beside a small stream. This building also had the larger middle window seen at the Women’s Institute building in Central Greenwich. I have verified this hall is the relocated Orange Hall from the community of Dunns’ Corner, lost when Base Gagetown was created.

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Meeting hall in Queenstown, Queens County, New Brunswick

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I have three ways of discovering the history of these buildings. One is to talk to local people, to hear their stories. Another is to consult the Walling Map (1862) for the Kings County schools. The other is to have a look at a scrapbook of one room schools, kept at the New Brunswick Museum Archives in Saint John. The scrapbook was made by Marion Johnston Dunphy who photographed 150 schools from 1974 to 1984 (The One Room Schools of New Brunswick and What Became of Them). Her photos may help me identify which of the buildings above were once one room schools. (I looked at this photo collection on July 7, 2016 and verified several of these buildings, as indicated above.)

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Regarding the Base Gagetown communities, the Base Gagetown Community History Association has an excellent website with photos of schools once located in the communities there  http://www.bgcha.ca/communities.html .

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June 5 2016 detail of 'way to school' Jane Tims

June 5 2016 detail of ‘way to school’ Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

early schools – Arbour Day

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Trees in the school yard, especially big trees suitable for climbing and swinging, would have been an appreciated feature of the school landscape. On a hot June day, students would have enjoyed the shade under a big tree.

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In the 1940s and 50s, some of these trees may have been planted sixty years before by students learning about abouriculture. By the early 1900s, there were Arbour Day celebrations in Canada when students planted trees at school and elsewhere in the community. The first official Arbour Day in Canada was established in 1906 by Don Clark of Schomberg, Ontario to remember his wife Margaret. 

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big spruce trees in the yard of the Cumberland Bay School, New Brunswick

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In Nova Scotia, schools celebrated Arbour Day by 1929 and perhaps before. In May and June that year, officials organized the planting of trees and shrubs in the school yard and involved community members and local dignitaries in the events to encourage their interest in the school system. In 1928, the newspaper Halifax Harald offered, province-wide, a $700 prize for school beautification, which would have included the planting of trees  (Jane Norman, Loran Arthur DeWolfe and The Reform of Education in Nova Scotia 1891-1959. Truro, Nova Scotia: Atlantic Early Learning Productions, 1989).

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The idea of planting trees in school yards continues to this day. Trees are important because they:

  • clean our air of pollutants
  • remove carbon dioxide, to reduce the contribution to global warming
  • prevent soil erosion
  • trap water pollutants by directing flow downward
  • provide habitat for birds, bees and squirrels
  • raise property values
  • provide the oxygen we breathe
  • provide shade
  • make great places for climbing and swinging

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June 5 2016 'arbour day' Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 13, 2016 at 7:00 am

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