nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Walling Map

early schools – old maps, photos and diaries

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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!

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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!

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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.
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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 …’.

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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!

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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!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

Written by jane tims

July 20, 2016 at 7:35 am

early schooling – finding the one room schools

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I am continuing to find interesting information in the Annual Report of the Schools of New Brunswick 1888 (Fredericton, 1889). This report includes information on the number of one room school houses in the late 1800s. Although the numbers are for all schools, you can see, by comparing the numbers of teachers to the numbers of schools, most schools had only one room.

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Statistics on Schools in Four Counties of New Brunswick as of December 31, 1887

County Number of Schools Number of Teachers Number of Students Number of Boys Number of Girls
York 167 178 5558 2811 2746
Sunbury 46 48 1050 553 497
Queens 85 87 2196 1088 1108
Kings 155 161 4552 2303 2249
All Counties 1542 1613 55492 27888 27604

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One of the things I want to do in my new project is visit a number of the schools still standing in four counties in the lower Saint John River watershed (Kings, Queens, Sunbury and York Counties). I’ll also visit some locations where schools once stood but are now gone.

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Finding these schools by driving the roads is a rather inefficient approach. So how do I find the whereabouts of over 400 one room schools? To start, the location of every school in Kings County in 1862 is known from the Walling Map.  For more information on this map, see http://www.rubycusack.com/issue34.html

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I have also found a valuable resource in a book I found for sale at Amazon.com : Diana Moore and Andrea Schwenke. New Brunswick Schools: A Guide to Archival Sources. Acadiensis Press: Fredericton, 1992. The Guide provides information on where to find various sources for early schooling in New Brunswick. I will be consulting some of these:

  • a scrapbook by Marion Johnston Dunphy who photographed 150 schools from 1974 to 1984 (The One Room Schools of New Brunswick and What Became of Them).
  • a list of one room schools in Kings County in 1983 prepared by The Kings County Retired Teachers Association
  • old school records in the Provincial Archives and the Archives of the Saint John Museum
  • diaries of people who taught school, for example C. Gordon Lawrence (Tracy School, Sunbury County, 1903 – 1962)
  • various exercise books, workbooks and school registers from the 1800s

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May 19, 2016 'recess' Jane Tims

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The first of many drawings about days at the one room school. I think I should take a course on drawing people. They look a little bored.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

May 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

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