Read’s School – A One Room School House in Elizabethtown

Read’s School

(School Section 2- Elizabethtown)

(School Section 30 – Augusta)


Read’s Public School, a log structure, was built in 1831 and served the community of Bethel for nearly 50 years until a stone building was erected in 1880 on the same plot of land. The land had originally been donated by UEL Pioneer Guy Carleton Read (1785-1849), The Read family gave their name to the school and the nearby Read’s cemetery which dates back to 1800.

The original log school was also used by Methodist circuit riders for church services.

Among the early teachers were Jehiel Collins, in the early 1800’s; William Garvey around 1820; John Walker 1854; Tom Henderson 1855; Catherine Wright 1858 and many others. The school was located in Bethel.

(Recorder and Times, Darling Scrapbook Collection Book 3 pgs 17-29)


School Superintendents Report (Ontario Archives)

Shows the following information, which in some cases contradicts what we have already researched, and contradicts other filed School Superintendents Reports:

1850: Frame building, 28×30 in size, constructed in 1810, condition: Good

1854: Stone building first opened in 1853


The following information was extracted from the motion papers of the Elizabethtown Council 1855-1873:


that the request of the Trustees of School Section No 2 be complied with and that the sum of $160.00 clear of all expenses be levied and collected on the assessed rateable property of said school section for school purposes for the current year 1867
That the request of the trustees of School Section No 2 be complied with that the sum of two hundred dollars be levied and collected on the rateable property of said section exclusive of expenses- 1869
that the Clerk order the treasurer to pay the Trustees of School Section No 2 or their order the sum of $160 as part payment of the amount due said section- 1870
that the application of the Trustees of School section No 2 be complied with and the sum of Two hundred and forty dollars be levied and collected on the taxable property of said section exclusive of expenses-1871
that the application of School Trustees Section No 2 be complied with and the sum of $240 be levied and collected on the Taxable property of said section exclusive of expenses 1872[1]

[1] Lyn Museum Archives

100th Anniversary 1981
Read’s School Class of 1921
Read’s School Class c1900

“Edna’s Scrapbook”

is a paperback book written by Edna B. Chant and was published in 1998. Edna Chant was a reported with the “Athens Reporter” for 23 years and she is the author of four books.

Her book, which is made up of news clippings from various sources, from which we have taken excerpts, gives us a glimpse into life in our area for over a hundred year period ending with stories from 1975.

While her book covers many areas of Leeds and Grenville we have only focused on the area within Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.

Read’s School

One of the oldest schools in the area is Read’s Stone schoolhouse which has been preserved in good repair. The very first school in the district was built in 1830 of logs. In 1880 it was replaced by the stone school and it served the district for 82 years, being closed in 1962. The school as well as the pioneer cemetery nearby was named after the Read Family. Guy Landon Read once owned an inn here. After the school was closed, it was purchased by Miss. Athalie H.M.Read who attended school here from 1923 to 1930. Guy Carleton Read once owned the land on which the school stands. Reads is located on the third concession of Augusta Township. The first teacher in the old log school was Johiel H.Collins. The first teacher in the stone school was Isabella Ross. The last teacher was Mrs. Horton Tanney.


Read’s School- May, 2017 photo by Hans-Ulrich Raffelt