Yonge Mills School

School Section #28 Elizbethtown

 School Section # 2 & 3 Front of Yonge


The Yonge Mills School house is located on the Yonge Mills Road, approximately 3 ½ miles west of the village of Lyn.  On September 26th 1874 a ¾ acre lot was severed from the land owned by Mr. Griffin and Mr. Phillips and transferred to the Trustees of the Public School Section. The school opened in 1874 and was in use until its closure in 1968. The school was built from stone and similar to others built around the same time period.

In 1954/55 a wall was erected across the room so that the lower level students could be taught by a second teacher. In 1960 a well was dug and a furnace room added. Prior to 1960 the school was without running water and each day a student had to carry a bucket of water from Gardiner’s across the road to the school. The lavatory was divided with the teacher’s in the centre and two on either side for the boys and girls.

The first school in Yonge Mills was a wooden structure located on the corner of Devil’s Door Road and County Road 27, opposite Yonge Mills Church. The second school was a brick structure which held classes from 1859 to 1874. The third school was a stone structure built in 1874 and was open until June 1968.

In 1956 the enrollment of the school was over 50 pupils.

This was a split school between Elizabethtown and Front of Yonge, students from both townships attended and costs were shared.

The school has been turned into a home and is located at 65 Yonge Mills Rd.

(A brief history of Yonge Mills School by Joe Moore 1997)


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: No Report

1854: No Report


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


that $36 dollars of Clergy money be divided amongst the School Sections of this Township in the following manner, namely Sections No 1 $10, No 12 $5, No 26 $9, No 27 $9.31 cents, No 28 $5, No 29 $2, No 30 $5, No 31 $6 bring union section all the full Sections will leave the sum of $13.11 cents each and the Clerk ? the sum to be paid to the Trustees of each School Section (Lyn Museum Archives)


1894-1896 Front Row: Roy Gibson, Myrtle Gibson, Unknown, Lizzie Ferguson, Ollie Burnham, Unknown, Mabel Robinson, Arletta Dickey, Katherene McNish, Unknown, Harris McNish, Unknown, Elmer Gardiner, Unknown, Tom McNish, Charlie Scott, Douglas McNish Middle Row: Roy Dickey, Jack Steacy, Fred Robinson, Gorge Robinson, Victor Purvis, Willie McNish, Unk Pennock, Billie Ferguson, Mabel McNish, Irma Culbert, Unknown, Unknown, Lois Lathem, Ursula McNish, Unknown, Carrie McNish Back Row: Carman Culbert, Unknown, Peter Purvis, Regenald Robinsson, Ferman Ayres, Edson Burnham, Lou Ayers, Unknown Ayres, Emma McNish, Clara Gardiner, Bessie McNish, Maude Turkington, Alice Tennant (Teacher) (photo #1)


1917 Class- (photo #2)


1923 Class – (photo #3)


1928 Class -Partial list number from the left of the photo Front Row: 2-Benie Neddo, 3-Marjorie Cochrane, 5- Barnie McNish 3rd Row: 1-Adile Cochraane, 2- Lena McNish, 3- Jennie Bryan, 5- Carl Flood, 6- Unk Neddo Back Row: 2- Harriet Purvis, 3-Alice McNish, 4- Philip McNish, 6-Don Gardiner (photo #4)


1940c – (photo #5)


1953 – Front row: Unknown, George Steacy, Robert Haffie, Jimmy Forrest, Ronnie Longstaffe, Edward McNish, Kenny Forrest, Keith Hawes, Ron Bryan Second row: Doris Cook, Phyllis Godridge, unknown, Wayne Longstaffe, Bennie TeKamp, unknown, Joke (pron. Yoka) Vandermade, Nancy McNish, Twyla Smith Third row: Linda Smith, unknown, Rhoda Cook, Dinie TeKamp, Gary Luker, Patsy Cook, Willie TeKamp, Leisha Munster, Martha Purvis, teacher Helen (Mrs. Boyd) Steacy (Teacher) (photo #6)


1950c Class (photo #7)


1955c students- (photo #8)


1955c Willie and Dinie Tekamp (photo #9)


1955c – Dinie, Willie and Benny Tekamp (photo #10)


1960 Class – Front Row: Werner Latocha, john McNish, John Kelly, Paul Purvis, Gregory (Smokey) Harper 2nd Row: Janet Howe, Doris Godridge, Unk McNish, Heidi Latocha, John Hazelegger, Pam Harper, Pam Kelly, Shirley Bryan 3rd Row: Gordon Cook, Bonnie Howe, Jim Kelly, Roger Cook, Unknown, Andrew McNish, Willie TeKamp, Cheryl Wright, Leslie Bryan, Art Kelly, Joan Chisamore, Chris Watson, Peggy Kelly Back Row: Miss King, Heather Bennett, Willie Vandermade, Faye Bennett, Emerson Harper, Peter Sabourin, Robert Haffie, Ron Bryan, Jack Hazeelegger, George Steacy, Cheryl Barnhardt, Mrs. Steacy (Teacher) (photo #11)


1882 Teachers Contract part 1 (photo #12)
1882 Teacher’s Contract Part 2 (photo #13)











1922 Teacher’s Contract for $1000. a year (photo #14)


List of Teachers at Yonge Mills School

1894-96 Alice Tennant

1897-04 J.Page

1904 W.Knox

1905-06 U.McNish

1908 L.Robertson

1909 J.Hamilton

1910 M.Carpenter

1911 D.Jones

11911-12 H.H.Sheldon

1912-15 G.Kelly

1914 Mary Bissell (Jan to June)

1914 Helen Sigsworth (Sep to Oct)

1914 Rosa Breese (Oct to Dec)

1915-16 Edythe A. Glazier

1917 M.Evelyn Purvis

1918 Mary Hutchinson (Jan to June)

1918-20 E.L.Sturgeon

1920-21 Vear B.Armstrong

1921-22 Edna I.Pettem

1922 Kathleen I. Bushfield

1923-25 Mary E.Gardiner

1926-28 Taylor K.Franklin

1928 M.E.Gardiner

1928-32 M.M.Marshall

1932 L.E.Booth

1935-39 M.R.Purvis

1940-41 M.R. Brown

1942 M.Avery

1942-43 F.Chapman

1943-44 Rita Howe

1944 Helen Steacy

1945-46 M.Stanier

1946-49 J.Ferguson

1956-58 Marion Tedford

1958-60 D.McGill

1960-61 S.King

1961-63 Kay Dickey

1963-68 H.Steacy

1964-66 C.Running

1967-68 Marjory Warren


The following information was taken from attendance records for the period 1914 to 1928. From 1915 onwards only new students were noted.


Wilma Shipman Jim McNish Jenny Ferguson
Ethal Weston Norton Eyre Ronald Herring
Hubert Scott Ernest Kilmurray Euart Clow
Frank Ferguson Eva Shipman George Hollingsworth
Katie Bolin Lottie Mallory Leland Bolin
Ann Munro George McNish Jennie Ferguson
Marguerite Tennant Nora Dickey Willie Avery
Cecile Tennant Lizzie McCoy Lucy McAvoy
Anna Bell Bolin Cecil Dickey Helen Kilmurray
Fred Vickerey Fern Munro Violet Hollingsworth
Leita McAvoy Arthur Weston Fred Hollingsworth
Willie Clow

1915 Teacher Edythe A. Glazier. New Students:

Ethel Jarvis Annia Andress Hilliard Andress
Cassie Andress Lila McAvoy Mary Andress
Belina Queen

1916 Teacher Edythe A. Glazier, New Students:

Blanch Eyre Lulu Pavey Louise Kilmurray
Howard Latham

1917 Teacher M. Evelyn Purvis, New Students

Harry Cook William Cook Maizie Latham

1918 Teacher Mary Hutchinson, E.L. Sturgeon, New Students:

Thomas Mills Lillie Mills Oran Marshall
Beulah Kilmurray

1919 Teacher E.L. Sturgeon, New Students

Constance McEwen

1920 Teachers E.L.Sturgeon and Vera B. Armstrong, New Students

Ford Bryan Ethel Bryan Stewart Flood
Omar Bramley Beatrice Flood Irene Boulton
Mable Edgely

1921 Teachers Vera B. Armstrong and Edna I. Pettem, New Students

Albert Boulton Francis Neddow Ethel Neddow
Christina Craig George Harris David Craig
Albert Boulton Boyd teacy Idelle Cochrane
Hugh Eaton Alice Neddow Mary Craig

1922 Teachers Edna Pettem and Kathleen I. Bushfield, New Students

Albert Woodward Gordon Haws Ethel Haws
Francis Neddo Ethel Neddow Alice Cain
Mary Cain Leslie Eaton Alice McNish
Lora McNish Jennie Bryan Willie Cain

1923 Teacher Mary E. Gardiner, New Students:

William Miller Omar Clow Alzina Cain
Nelson Cain Lawrence Nixon Donald Gardiner
Doris McNish Thelma Eaton Hubert Leeder
Cora Neddow

1925 Teacher Mary E. Gardiner, New Students

Arthur Purvis Leslie Neddo Phillip McNish
Earl Flood Elanor Shipman Lawrence Neddo
Isabel Watson Janet Watson

1926 Teacher Mary E. Gardiner and Taylor K. Franklin New Students

Bobby Nixon Marjorie Cochrane Bobby Heaslip
Margaret McNish Donald Heaslip Stanley Bryan
Arthur McDonald

1927 Teacher Taylor K. Franklin, New Students

Harriet Purvis Gertrude Dolan Billie Andress
Barnett McNish Katherine Purvis Gladys McKay
Sarah Dolan

1928 Teachers Taylor K. Franklin, M.E. Gardiner, M.M. Marshall New Students

Emily Poole Miller Poole Irene Poole
Alfred Poole Kenneth Heaslip James Purvis


The school was closed on a number of occasions and a brief note of explanation was made in the attendance records. Some of those notes are succinct comments on the way of life in the early years.

From time to time the teacher was sick and so the school was closed until she/he recovered. On one occasion it was for two weeks. Once a year the teacher attended a one day teacher’s conference, usually held in Brockville.

Other closures over the early years:

1918 Nov 11th – Peace Declared

1920 Feb 18th – School closed due to a storm

1920 Jun 8th – School closed due to sickness

1921 Feb 10th – Closed for Mr. Robert Eyre’s funeral

1921 Mar 1st – School closed for measles

1921 Jun 16th -School closed to pick strawberries

1922 Feb 10th – Closed, Mr. Noris Gardiner died

1922 Sep 8th – School Fair

1925 Jan 14th to 23rd – School closed because of measles

1925 Oct 15th – International Plowing Match

1927 Mar 1st – Closed to fumigate school for Scarlet Fever

1928 Mar 12th & 13th – Death and Funeral of Mrs. N.I.Gardiner

1936 Jan 28th – Kings Funeral

1937 May 12th – Coronation Day

(Thanks to Joe Moore of Brockville for the majority of this information, written in 1997


Yonge Mills School as a home in 1990 (photo #15)


Yonge Mills School for sale (photo #16)


Yonge Mills School (photo #17)


If anyone has any additional photos or information on this school wwe would appreciate hearing from you.



3 thoughts on “Yonge Mills – a One Room School House in Elizabethtown

  1. I am tracing my “Roots” My Mother and her siblings went to this school. Do you have records of the students and other class photos. ? My Mother is Macy Eva Shipman (1902-1987)
    . Sisters Edna Marie (1898-1967) and Wilma Beatrice (1899-1991) and brother Walte Ellis (1895-1974).
    They are the children of Macy Elizabeth Johnson and Joel Arthur Shipman – Twin Elms Farm

  2. Photo #1 with Roy Gibson in the lower left corner I believe was actually taken sometime between 1894 and 1896. Alice Tennant was only teaching at that time. my grandfather Roy Gibson was born in 1884 and would have been about 10 or 11 at the time of the photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: