Toledo had three log schools in and around the immediate area. These schools were closed with the erection of a new stone school in the Village by the late 1840’s. This structure served the area until the 1870’s.
In 1876, Mr. Robert Parker built a two room brick schoolhouse on King Street. Teachers of the late 19th Century included R. Evans 1872-76; Hincks Eaton 1882; Miss Emma Smith 1887; Robert Fritty aand Robert Fields 1887, J. Rabb 1888-90; W.C. Dowsley and Anthony Rape and Miss Sexton. Teachers in the 20th Century included Miss A.Pelto, Mable Rouck, Tommy Cook, Iva Dunham, Miss Murphy, Miss Ida Connors, Miss Pettem, Doreen McDougal, Mrs. Greenhorn, Hattie Cannon and Pearl Morrison,
With the tragic death of Miss Cannon and Mrs. Morrison in a car accident near Newbliss in 1961, the old brick structure was closed and students from the Toledo are went to either the new Frankville Public School or the new St. Joseph’s Separate School in Toledo. (Kitley 1795-1975 by Dr. Glenn Lockwood)
From Edna’s Scrapbook:
Two sisters, Mrs. Albert W Morrison aged 64 years, and Miss Harriett Cannon aged 68 years died together when their car was struck by an oil truck driven by Garnet Sands of Frankville on May 4, 1961. They lived at Jasper and taught school to Toledo. They were on their way to school at 8:45am and drove from the Jasper Road onto Highway 29, directly in front of Sands who was travelling towards Smiths Falls and he was unable to avoid a collision. Both car and truck were demolished, the latter catching fire and burning to a shell. Sands was able to escape but received severe burns and shock. He had his 3 year old son Terry with him and he was able to save the boy but he was also burned. Mrs. Morrison was the former Edith Pearl Cannon and both sisters were born at Portland. They had been teachers for many years and were very well known and highly regarded.
The origins of the original Soper School have been lost in the sands of time. It was probably a log cabin school and existed on the site as early as 1820. This original one room school was known as Otterman’s School, from the Otterman family living nearby. Later when Soper deeded the land over to the School Section board it became Soper School.
Levi Soper owned a homestead three miles to the east of Fankville. A school was built on part of this property. The school stands on the 9th Concession, but the road running past the school building is Morrison Road, Kitley 8th line. The school fence runs between the two concessions..
A stone building supplanted the original log school and it served the community until it was destroyed by fire in 1912. The present stone building was erected on the site in the same year. George Brundige was the contractor when the school was rebuilt. The building was constructed of square cut stone locally quarried. The inside was finished with a white plaster. A raised platform was installed for the teacher.
Among the first settlers around the old school site were the Morrisons, Wilkins, Pryces, Sopers, Wrights, Reynolds, Barringstons, Davises, Mulvaughs, Steacys, Hewitts, Hantons, Brundiges, Merciers. Later the Cooks and O’Gradys moved in.
Louise Mulvaugh was a teacher there prior to 1900. In the 1900’s teachers included Miss. Cocklin (1908), Miss. Greeves; Kenneth Blanchard, Miss. Clow, Misses Nellie and Rose Judge and Fred Leacock who later became a doctor and was killed in a car accident. First salaries paid to teachers ran from $200. to $300. per year. Average attendance was 25-30 pupils but when the school closed in the 1960’s attendance was down to 12. (Recorder and Times)
Schoolhouse pump hidden in the brush on the corner of the lot (photo #5)
Concession #1, Lot 9, in South Elmsley Township (see map)
In 1873, school trustees received the deed for a property of land from Henry Shane.
A new stone building was constructed in 1875 (or 1887), replacing an older school further down the road which was subject to arson, possibly committed by a pupil. The schoolhouse was used after hours as the community church, as well as a meeting hall. Well into the 1900s, the building was used by the Shane’s Women’s Institute.
Shane’s Corners was a small settlement located along Highway 29 near what was the First Concession of Kitley. Shane’s Corners was settled by a man named Lawrence Shane and his wife; Mrs. Shane kept a private school here at one time. The settlement consisted of a few homesteads and very few businesses. 
The settlement was large enough that it was able to become its own school section in the late nineteenth century. The school was known as S.S. #2 Shane’s School, and at the time was located along the boundary of Kitley and South Elmsley townships. 
Shane’s School enjoyed an upswing in attendance during the 1950’s, when more people moved into the area.
The old Shane’s Road running west from Shane’s Corners on No.29 highway forms the boundary between South Elmsley and Kitley.
Known as the Town Line, the road was a natural spot for school houses. Thus at least three were set up along its route, and because education knows no boundaries, these schools became union, uniting South Elmsley and Kitley pupils.
Shane’s School, was destroyed by a fire set by vandals stood on the knoll that marks the junction of Shane’s Road and No.29 Highway, was a union school with around 15 South Elmsley children attending it in 1840, though it was located in Kitley.
Halfway between Shane’s Corners and Blanchard’s Hill, another public school, also union existed in the 1840’s. It has since vanished and no historian today knows where it stood.
 Recorder and Times]
Excerpt from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”
Miss Mary Goodfellow taught at the stone school in 1905 and 1906. During her teaching Dr. Kinney was the inspector. She remembered him well as he always had the same joke: “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” When she returned in 1910, a Mr. Johnson was the inspector. It is interesting to note that Miss Goodfellow’s mother taught in the present school or one on the same site. Miss Lillian Taylor was also one of the earlier teachers. At that time Wilfred Pattemore taught here. Mr. Oaks was the inspector and Fred Hewitt was trustee for many years. Other trustees who served with him were Alex Findlay, Mervin Joint, Harvey Johnston, Pete Simpson, Charlie Botham and Archie Hewitt.
Redan was settled in the years 1840-1860 by Irish Immigrants. The original inhabitants were the Youngs, the Marshalls, Burnetts, Pritchards, Motts, Richards and Wilsons. The old Richardson homestead here was originally part of a clergy reserve. In 1854 the government released all clergy reserve land to the public and the Richard family took a 100 acre plot in the centre of this community.
Redan School was located a short distance from the Mott homestead. The original schoolhouse was a log structure located near the junction of the Rocksprings and Redan roads. The site is now covered by a swamp.
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: Frame building
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 26 be excepted and that the sum of $125. be levied and collected on the rateable property for the current year 1862- 1862
that the application of the Trustees of School section No 26 be complied with and the sum of $80 be levied and collected on the rateable property of said School Section exclusive of all expenses-1871
that the application of the Trustees of School Section No 26 be complied with and the sum of $80 dollars be levied and collected on the Taxable property of said section exclusive of expenses-1872
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-1873
After 1858 the school that was Wolford SS#22 became Rathwell’s School, northeast corner of County Road 16 and Corkoran Road.
(Note: on the 1862-62 map there was no school at this location, the closest school we could find was the one circled on the map, this does not correspond to the present location of the school)
Excerpt from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”
Jasper School – Although there was little early growth in Jasper in the early years of the 19th Century, educational history in this village was commenced well before the village itself developed. In an April 19, 1842, Brockville Recorder is mentioned a grant of 35 £ to S.S. 22 Kitley, and Wolford to build a schoolhouse. The resultant structure was a small log edifice. In 1872, Mr. William Driver was the school teacher.
A new brick structure of a size large enough to contain two classrooms was constructed in 1875, across the road from the old log structure. Jasper became one of the centres where entrance exams were held.
The Jasper public school register of 1902 notes that Mr. George Harris was the teacher, and gave the following names of the students: Mertle Mills, John Mills, Edna Timlack, Ed Harris, John Driver, Dell Montgomery, Claude Beamish, George and Elsie Ireland, Emma Bates, Bert and Ethel Pinel, Orvil Brundige, Vesta Cross, Harold Warren, Lotty Driver, Earl Mills, George Cross, Ella Warren, Hazel Beamish, Lloyd Mills, Susan Driver, Rita Pinel, Star Cross, Harry Bates, Ed Ireland, Mable Timlack, Mina Burroughs, John Morrissey, Allen and Flossie Connerty, Mable Burroughs, James Morrissey, Jean Connerty, Mable and Florice Connerty, Jenny Driver, Lizzie Hart, Ella Hyslop, John LaFrance, Frank Morrissey, Herbert Carry, Harry Collidge, Carlisle Connerty, Edna Wright, Muriel Kelly, Maude Burroughs, Gertie Hyslop, Tina Carry, Susan LaFrance, Neil Morrissey, Cathaline Carry, Nelly Kelly, William Driver, and Harry Driver.
There were 58 pupils with an average attendance of 54 at this time.
A new school was constructed on the Kitley side of Jasper in 1961, and the old school was closed.
Concession #4, Lot 13, built late 1830’s (see map)
present address 655 County Rd 29
Newbliss village had a log school which was replaced in 1874 by a stone structure. Newbliss School was phased out of existence in 1961 with the pupils being transferred to Jasper.
Newbliss had two schoolhouses to serve the community, each its own section. The first school was built around 1830 and was titled S.S. #5 Newbliss School. It is believed the first schoolhouse for S.S. #5 was made of log, however no records of the school exist. In 1858, the stone schoolhouse which replaced the log structure was erected. This schoolhouse is still standing, located at the intersection of Highway 29 and Line Road 4. (Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood)
With the erection of the Jasper Public School in 1961, the Newbliss School was sold for a residence.
Generations of Mott’s Mills children were educated at the community’s old one room school, which closed around 1950. The original log school was built on Lot 21 of the 3rd Concession of Kitley. It was succeed by a frame building, which in turn was demolished to make room for a stone school built in 1906.
In its heyday, the school accommodated up to 80 pupils. When Mott’s Mills went into decline and the population dropped, school enrollment was greatly reduced. After the Second World War, the decline was much more noticeable. All schools in the north of Leeds suffered setbacks and many were closed.
Further down the Town Line Road, Blanchard’s School suffered reverses and was closed in 1956. Pupils from Blanchard’s were then transferred to Mott’s Mills.
Pioneer Sam Hough was the original owner of the land on which Mott’s Mills School stood. The Lot no 21 in the 3rd Concession of Kitley was deeded to Hough on December 18, 1803. In 1816, the lot was sold to Sam’s son, Brewin Hough who in turn disposed of it in the following year to Micajah Purdy. It was probably in Purdy’s time that the first school was erected on the lot. George S. Scovil bought the lot in 1833, and that portion on which the school stood was deeded over to the area school board.
Mott’s Mills School also closed in the early 1960’s. Students from these two schools were then bused to Jasper Public School.
“This school was a Union School and served part of Bastard Township where it was known as School Section #17.
According to an April 19th, 1849 Brockville Recorder, 65 pounds was granted to build a schoolhouse for this section. It is presumed that this early structure was either frame or log construction and was replaced by a brick structure in later years. In 1872, the school teacher was V.L.Yates. In 1882 there was a petition requested for $190. to meet school expenses. The same sum was requested te following year. In 1909 the teacher was Miss Geneva Stafford.
The school was closed well before the 1960’s.”
(excerpts from “Kitley 1795-1975” written by Dr. Glenn Lockwood)
The Athens Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser
Tuesday March 5, 1895 issue–
Mitchell’s School (Kitley S.S. #16)
Honor roll for Mitchell’s school for the month of February. Names appear in order of merit.
Sr. IV.- Ethel Yates, Gordon Mitchell
Jr. IV.- John Fenlon, Myrtle Emmons, Anna Judge, Nellie Crummy
III. – Maude Fenlon, Stanley Bulford, Ernest Potter
– Blanch Emmons, Minnie Judge, Alex. Dixon, Anna Maney
Bellamys Mill was its own common school section, known as school section #10. The school, first built in 1836, was named S.S. #10 Mahon’s School. The first log schoolhouse burned down and was rebuilt in the 1850’s across the road. The school ran successfully until the 1910’s when it was periodically closed and reopened until its permanent closure in the 1940’s. At the time of its closure it was converted into a private residence. Additionally at Bellamy’s Mill was a Roman Catholic separate school, known as R.C. #10. (Wikipedia)
Excerpt from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”
School Section Number 10 was the area which encompassed the Bellamy’s Mills area of Kitley. This section was also combined with Bastard School Section Number 18. Two schools were included in this section: Mahon’s SS #10, and R.C. #10, the latter being a separate school. The school is found on lot 20 of concession 6.
The first school at Mahon’s, which was north of Bellamy’s Mills, was across the corner from the later one. It was believed to have been built in 1836. This was a log building which was destroyed by fire in 1851. It was 20 feet by 20 feet and was reported to be in good condition. At the time it was in operation, the local superintendent stated, “I am happy to state that in the township education is injoying a considerable share of attention and that in no fewer than eight schools the free school system has been adopted, and that in various sections the necessary arrangements for more commodious school houses are being made.”
In 1851 fire motivated the construction of a new edifice in 1853 at the cost of 36£. The site was moved to where the present building now stands. In 1856, 10 percent of the people in this area were reported to be illiterate, that is, those who could go to this school.
For a period of between 1912 and 1924, Mahon’s School was closed. It reopened in 1924 and remained open until 1943, at which time it was permanently closed. The last teachers at this school in 1943 were: Miss Joynt, Miss Connolly, Miss Nixon, Miss Cavanaugh, Miss Hutcheson aand Mrs. Dack.
Gideon Leehy believed in educating the youngsters, so he put up a log school on the south side of Kitley’s Ninth Concession Road.
The school lasted until 1851, when it burned down. By this time a number of other families had moved in and a small community was flourishing.
The good burghers elected to build a stone school, which was completed in 1852. For 109 years it served the area well, standing sturdy and sound on the north side of the road, opposite the charred remains of the old school.
In 1961, the school was phased out of the system and replaced by the modern Frankville School on Hwy. 29.
Old school records show that in 1872, R.W.Hornick was the teacher of the one room school. In 1882 the school’s budget was $200., rising to $230 the next year.
Malcome Lehigh was teaching there in 1887 and in 1896 the muster showed six Leigh children attending: Maude, Mertle, Edna, Carrie, Everett and Ernie Lehigh. The last teacher when the final class was dismissed in 1961 was Aileen Montgomery.
“The teacher in 1896 was Miss Edith Wing. During the early 20th century names such as Raymond Pryce, Mrs. Loucks, Mrs. George Eaton and Edna McKeracher. The last teacher was Mrs. Aileen Montgomery. “from Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood”
The Athens Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser
Tuesday Jan. 1, 1895 issue-
Leehy’s School (Kitley SS #18)
Following is the result of the Christmas examinations held at Leehy’s School. Names appear in order of merit:
Fourth Class- Everett Leehy, Carrie Leehy, Bruce Holmes, John Howie, Stella Kilborn, Bruce Ireland, Frank Livingston
Third Class- Edna Leehy, Susie Ireland, Mary Livingston
Second Class- Roy Kilborn, Blanche Eaton, Thorton Levingston and Elmo Judson
Part 1- Victoria Johnston,
Tella Beach, Teacher
Tuesday Feb. 5, 1895 issue-
Leehy’s School ( Kitley SS #18)
Honor roll for Leehy’s school for the month of January. Names appear in order of merit:
Fourth Class – Everett Leehy, Carrie Leehy, John Howie, Stella Kilborn, Bruce Holmes, Bruce Ireland
Third Class – Edna Leehy, Roy Kilborn, Blanche Eaton, and Susie Ireland
Second Class – Thornton Levingston
Part I – Victoria Johnston\Those attending every day during the month: Everett Leehy, Carrie Leehy, Stella Kilborn, Edna Leehy, Roy Kilborn
Tella Beach, Teacher
Tuesday April 16, 1895 issue–
Leehy’s School ( Kitley SS #18)
Results of Easter examinations of Leehy’s school. Total number of marks, 850.
Fourth Class – John Howie 695, Everett Leehy 594, Stella Kilborn 500, Bruce Holmes 426, Carrie Leehy 368
Third Class – Roy Kilborn 363, Edna Leehy 529, Blanche Eaton 392, Susie Ireland 62
Second Class – Elmo Judson 526, Thornton Livingston 401
Known as “17 Kitley and 19 Yonge” built on part of Concession 10, Lot 27 in KItley. It served the rear lots of 10 to 30 of Concession 10 in Kitley, Concession 11 of Yonge and some of Bastard. It was built in 1868 and closed in 1961. Previous to it being built school was held in the home of William T. Howe who lived on that land. Thomas Howe received these 200 acres by Crown Patent Sept. 1. 1838 but had been developing the land since at least 1820. The original nominee of this land was Solomon Conley and Margaret Howe. In his will he left part of the land plus 50 pounds to be used to build a school. In the early years of the school it was also used as a Church.
The following information is taken from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”
The Lake Eloida school area, in the days of the three-trustee board, was comprised of the rear half of lots 10 to 30 in the 10th Concession of Kitley, part of Lot 4 to Lot 15 in the 11th Concession of the Township of Yonge and a very small area in the Township of Bastard.
School was first held in this section in a nearby stone house owned by William Howe, which overlooked Lake Eloida. Teachers in this building included Miss E.J Ferrar and Miss Adelaide McCrea, a daughter of Hiram McCrea of Frankville. Of the latter teacher it was said, “She was a slender and very tall, and very good looking. She wore the same dress day in and day out made of a dark printed material. It trailed on the floor as she moved about slowly and with great dignity.”
A schoolhouse was built of stone in approximately 1868 in Lot 27 to the 10th Concession. Miss Vina Root, later Mrs. John Mackie, was one of the early teachers in the new school. Another teacher, Holmes Eyre, a grandson of Abram Eyre, used a heavy hand on those who did not obey his instructions. Other teachers in the latter half of the 19th century were: Annie Laura Scovil, Josie Glazier, Jennie Eyre, Jennie Percival, Emma Johnston and Hincks Eaton.
An item in the Athens Reporter of January 21, 1890 read: “Miss Jennie Eyre, teacher at Lake Eloida School was presented with a hand mirror by Miss Ina Hause and a fruit dish by Miss Lillian Barnes, on behalf of the school girls, and Clifford Crummy presented her with a glove and handkerchief set on behalf of the boys, after an address was read by Jessie Henderson. Miss Erye will be taking another school next term.”
Mrs. L.A. Kilborn recalled that Mother Barns, generally known as “The Witch of Plum Hollow”, used to take her by the hand hand take her part way to school and how her teacher, Miss Scovil, used to take her, a tiny child, home with her at noon, lest she run away from school.
During its early decades the school building was used as a church sanctuary, and for Sunday School. Over the years there was little change in the appearance of the well built one room edifice, except for the new roofing, redecorating, and the addition of a drinking fountain, the installation of modern desks and equipment and the installation of hydro.
The following is a narrative as recounted by Miss Ethel McDowell who was teacher for a number of years at Lake Eloida.
“When I went to Lake Eloida to teach, the Second World War was still in progress Groups of soldiers would practice military maneuvers occasionally at Mr. Ogle Webster’s corner and along the road leading to the school. I remember them sending up rockets of flares one night and thinking, the show is nearly as good as fireworks. Another night they were making a smoke screen, I thought. Often one or two soldiers would go tearing along on motorcycles.
“Well, one chilly, damp afternoon in the autumn, a group of soldiers came along and the leader, a lieutenant, I presume, came to the school door. Could his men sleep in the school all night as they had made a long march and were very tired? They wouldn’t touch anything, and would leave everything as they found it. Well, in my mind flashed the thought, if they were going to risk their lives overseas so the rest of us could sleep safe and secure under a roof, it was only common decency to let them sleep warm and dry that night, in the school. A small closed in truck accompanied them, I gave my consent. When I went to the home of the W.M. Moore’s where I boarded, the soldiers took possession, and probably were sound asleep.”
“Now it seems there was a second group of soldiers, ‘the enemy’, on the road coming from Athens. They came upon one of the Lake Eloida boys and asked him if he had seen any soldiers that day. “Why, yes”, he replied, “There’s a bunch sleeping at the school tonight.”
“Group No. 1, feeling safe and tired, had gone to sleep without posting a sentry. So Group No.2 stole up to the school, slipped into it, and set off a tear gas bomb just inside the door. The sleepers awakened, got out fast.”
“In the morning the lieutenant came to meet me and apologized for what had happened. He had opened the door and windows, and when I first entered the school it didn’t seem too bad. But in a few minutes I emerged tearfully. You can imagine my dismay and chagrin. We couldn’t have school for a week, and when we did go back the effect of the tear gas was still there; the pupils gazed at me with tear filled eyes. One day Mavis Crummy, (Mrs. Clair Knapp), said to me, “I used to like to come to school, I don’t anymore.”
“Inspector Oaks said we would probably notice the tear gas for a year, and we did. He wrote to Army Headquarters, and in due time a couple of ‘top brass’ arrived at the school. I can remember them standing by the box stove and saying that they noticed nothing but the smoke from the wood fire. Huh !!! They said that the soldiers had gone overseas by that time. One of them also stated that in actual warfare the enemy would have blown the encamped men to pieces.
“If the trustees had fired me, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But they were good enough to say that if they too had been asked they would likely have given the soldiers permission to sleep in the school.”
Some of the teachers during the 20th Century included: Florence Scovil, John Webster, Anna Webster, Miss Lenna Brown, Russell Edmunds, Mrs. Aileen Montgomery, Mrs. Thomas Ericson, Miss Junter and Mrs. Leonard Scott.
In June of 1961, Lake Eloida School was closed after having served as a place of instruction for over 90 ears. Mrs. Ericson was the last teacher and last class of the old school included the following: Douglas Deir, David Wood, Danny Pattemore, Betty Van Drunen, Barbara Wood, Donna Deir, Donna Pattemore, Kathy Knapp. Connie Knapp Robert Wood, Mary Ellen Morrison, Robert Morrison, Beth Edmunds, Frances Knapp, Carole Knapp and Dianne Knapp.
On October 26th, 2019, Athens and Area Heritage Museum had a “School Reunion” for those who attended the old Lake Eloida one room school house. The following information was obtained at that reunion. Many thanks to the Athens and Area Heritage Museum for sharing this with us.
The Lake Eloida School Story
The Lake Eloida School which was built about 1868 and was used continuously for over 90 years was closed this June (1961). The Lake Eloida School area, more primly known as “17 Kitley and 10 Young” in the days of the tree-trustee board, comprised the rear half of lots number 10 to 30 in the 10th Concession of the Township of Kitley, part of Lot 4 to lots 15 in the 11th Concession of the Twp of Yonge, and a very small area in the Twp of Bastard.
At least six farms in the western part of the school area first came into being as part of a Crown Grant made to John Graves Simcoe. The minutes of the Executive Council of Upper Canada dated Wednesday July 9, 1794 refer to a grant of 5,000 acres ordered that day to His Excellency in appreciation of his service as Colonel of the Queen’s Rangers. An absentee landlord he turned land over to Abraham Holmes just after 1800. This property now owned by the Harold Pattemore’s had until September 1959 remained in the same family for five generations.
A small slice of land at the north end of the school area was originally owned by John Arnold, son of the famed American traitor, Benedict Arnold. John Arnold, father of the late Henry H. Arnold who was sectary treasurer of the Athens High School Board for 35 years and a member of the Board for 40 years and an Athens merchant, died on the property in 1831.
During many of the early decades the present school building was used as a church sanctuary, and for Sunday School. Almost every Protestant family in the neighbourhood worshiped here regardless of denomination, he men and women occupying opposite sides of the schoolroom. The Methodist minister from Athens conducted the services in the afternoon of the Sabbath.
It is likely that most of the children were taught their ABC’s by their parents or older members o their families during the early 1800’s. Then came the days of the itinerant teacher and “school” in one or another of the homes. Schooling was spasmodic and during the busy seasons it almost disappeared. At least there was a school building. Mrs. Austin Craig, who taught in the present stone school estimated that it is more than 90 years old. She remembered as a small girl attending school first in the stone house now occupied by the Thomas Knapps overlooking the lake and later she thought she attended the new school. Miss E.J. Ferrar was one of the earliest teachers. She was teaching in Eloida in 1865. Miss Adelaide McCrae was another early teacher, as was Miss Vina Root (later to become Mrs. John Mackie and the grandmother of Mrs. Gerald Morrison, Holmes Eyre, Anna Laura Scovil, Josie Glazier, Jennie Eyre and Jennie Percival.
Probably the Lake Eloida pupil who has won most distinction in her field of service was Marion Bottomley, now Dr. Marion Hall, a Methodist missionary attached to the Madar Union Sanatorium, a 250 bed hospital at Ajmer, India.
(this article was written in 1961, the author is anonymous)
The History of the Lake Eloida Schooling
by Sally Smid, Athens and Area Heritage Society
During the 1800’s area children were taught at home or sporadically by various itinerant teachers in different homes. The first mention of aa school was one that was located in the stone part of the home of Thomas Knapp. The Lake Eloida School was build around 1868. An early teacher was E.J. Ferrar who was recorded to have taught in the area in 1865. Another early teacher was Miss Adelaide McCrae. Mrs. Austin Craig who later taught there as well and received a salary of $150. a year, remembered McCrae as a “slender, tall and pretty woman who wore the same dress everyday. It trailed on the floor as she moved slowly about with great dignity”. Miss Vina Root, later Mrs. John Mackie, was also an early teacher. It was reported that another teacher, Holmes Eyre, used a “heavy haand” on those who didn’t obey his instructions. Other memorable teachers were Annie Scovil, Josie Glazer, Jennie Doreen Livingston, and Eva Moore.
An item in the Athens reporter of Jan. 21, 1890, right after Farmersville became Athens, read, “Miss Jennie Eyre, a teacher at the Lake Eloida School, was presented with a hand mirror by Miss Ina Hause and a fruit dish by Miss Lillian Barnes, on behalf of the school girls and Clifford Crummy presented her with a glove and handkerchief set on behalf of the boys..Miss Eyre will be taking another school next term.”
During many of the early decades, the school building was used as a church sanctuary and as a Sunday School. Almost everyone in the area worshipped there, with the men and women occupying opposite sides of the schoolroom. Two lady evangelists, Ella Birdwell and Inda Mason, conducted meetings in the school as well. The school was “packed to the doors”.
Over the years there has been little change in the appearance of the well-built little one room stone schoolhouse, except for new roofing and redecorating, adding a drinking fountain, new curtains, modern desks, and equipment as well as the installation of hydro.
Former students have many memories, fro Christmas Concerts, spelling bees, picnics at the campground, Arbour Day trips to the woods for flowers, to the visits the kindly Dr. Kinney, the inspector, as well as toasting cheese sandwiches on the wood stove. Then there was the time that Charlie Howe’s ram was chased around the school and battered the door.
Miss Ethel McDowell taught at the school for several years. Stories are told of how the students teased her because of her wooden leg, but that didn’t seem to limit her capabilities. She had a very unique experience having taught during WWII when groups of soldiers would practice military maneuvers in the area. They asked her if they could sleep in the school after a long march and promised to leave everything in place. She patriotically agreed and the soldiers bedded down for the night.
Now it seems that there was a second group of soldiers, “the enemy”, coming from Athens and they asked one of the locals if they’d seen and soldiers. It was revealed that they were in the school. Since they had left no sentry, the “enemy group” was able to slip up to the school and set a tear gas bomb just inside the door. The sleepers awoke and quickly escaped.
Apologies were made, but there was no school for a week due to the lingering smell which was noticeable for a year. When the “top brass” came in response to the complaints, they made light of the incident and stated that in actual warfare, the enemy would have tossed in a bomb that would have blown everything up. Miss McDowell thought that she might have been fired but the trustees were understanding.
In 1961 the Lake Eloida School closed and students were transported by bus to Frankville, Hard Island and Anoma Lee. The school which was attended by all of the elementary children in the community had a unifying influence. As Mrs. Aileen Montgomery, who taught there until 1960, wrote at its closing, “A mutual community concern is gone and as the pupils go to their new schools in different directions, it is inevitable that the neighbourhood interests will be divided.” Perhaps the school’s unifying force was gone, but the warm memories and rich heritage remain.
(Much of this information was obtained from The History of Lake Eloida, Athens Reporters and various former students)
News from The Athens Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser
Tuesday Feb. 5, 1895 issue-
LakeEloidaSchool (Kitley SS #17)
The following is a list of the pupils whose work entitled them to place on the honor roll (names appear in order of merit):
IV.- Nellie Wiltsie
III – Amos Wiltsie, James Poirier, Harry Everett, Anna Thomas
II – Robert Everett, Martha Kincaid, Roy Johnson, Floyd Howe, Edna Howe
Pt II. – Charlie Stephenson
I – Omer Davis
Those who attended every day, Nellie Wiltsie, Floyd Howe
Maggie Wiltsie, Teacher
LakeEloidaSchool (S.S.#17) Kitley
Tuesday Aug 20, 1895 issue
Sarah Holmes, wife of Horace Booth, died on Monday last at her residence near Lake Eloida. Mrs. Booth was born on the farm adjoining the one on which she died and has always resided in that neighbourhood. She was in her 71st year at the time of her death. The funeral will take place at the Lake Eloida school house at 10 a.m. to-morrow (Wednesday)
The first log school house here was built in the early 1840’s on the west corner of the farm of pioneer Isaac Foster. Known as S.S. #8, the log school burned down a few years after it was built.
The community replaced it with a wooden frame structure sheeted in galvanized iron and painted white. For around 100 years it educated generations of Kinch Street children, until it was phased out by the school consolidation in the 1950’s.
The teacher in 1876 was John Mackay, a veteran educationalist who taught in Newbliss for 20 years before coming to this school.
School trustees in 1876 were Isaac Foster who had donated the plot on which the school stood, James Love and James Morrissey, who was also the board’s secretary treasurer. A Dr. Kinney was the school inspector.
“The sturdy log structure served as a school for over 100 years. It ceased functioning as a school in 1950. The pupils of the Kinch Street area were transported to Crystal School and later to the new Jasper Public School.”-from Kitley 1795-1975 by Dr. Glenn Lockwood
Concession #4, Lot 26, built prior to 1870 (see map
Excerpt from Dr. Glenn Lockwood’s book “Kitley 1795-1975”
Judgeville School, S.S. No. 7, contained a public school and a separate school. The separate school goes back prior to the 1870’s, ad in 1872, Mr. James Dempsey was trustee. A petition for the school requested $20. that same year. The following article is from a February 8th 1899 issue of the Brockville Recorder:
“We publish in this issue the judgment of Judge MacDonald in a case tried in Kitley in which the plaintiff Anthony Healy as the Collector of the Roman Catholic Separate School Tax, sued the defendant, John Carey, for the amount of his assessment. Mr. Carey admitted that he was a supporter of the Roman Catholic Separate School, but, in as much as he had leased his farm to his son, who was also a supported of the public school, and was to pay the taxes contended he was not, as far as the assessment was concerned, liable for the separate school tax.
The judge reserved his decision. The judgment is as follows:
“This case was tried before me at the last sitting at Frankville and I then reserve judgment…in my humble judgment the defendant being a Roman Catholic, and a supporter of the separate school is wholly exempt from paying public school rates or subscriptions upon him and have power to collect the same. My judgment is therefore against the defendant.”
The annual report for the Separate School No. 7 for the year ending 1882, showed that the teacher that year had a third class certificate. There were seven pupils, two boys and five girls. The schoolhouse was frame, the school premises were freehold.
“It is presumed that the present stone structure was erected in the late 1870’s or sometime thereafter. It is also safe to presume that an earlier school of log construction was in the area by the late 1850’s. According to the Brockville Recorder a petition for $250. for the benefit to the school was made in 1882. In 1883 the school section was assessed at five and a half mills for money for the school. The teacher in 1882 was Minnie McEwan, and in 1883 was Jenny Bowser.” (“Kitley 1795-1975” by Dr. Glenn Lockwood
If anyone has any photos or additional information on this school we would appreciate hearing from you.
We are not sure if the school S.S. 14 was the earliest school in the Frankville area. Frankville has a rather distinctive history as far as schools are concerned considering that it was the only centre in Kitley to have a grammar school which was the equivalent of a present day high school. When a Model School was set up in the Frankville village in 1845, a goodly sized Common School had been in operation for many years and was large enough to warrant the choice of Frankville as the centre important enough for a county Model School.
The following is from a January 5th, 1854, Brockville Recorder: “It Appears that the trustees of School Section No. 15 of Kitley, in 1852, were two Reformers to one Tory; and even the later gentleman professed himself friendly to the Reform Party. These Trustees conducted the school affairs of the section, to the satisfaction of the inhabitants of the section. The Reformers had no wish to carry politics into school matters, and were willing to allow a second Tory to be elected in 1853…On having secured a majority, the Kitley Tory peculiarity of exclusiveness at once evinced itself—matters must just be conducted as they ordered, if not at all.
Following are excerpts from “Kitley 1795-1975” written by Dr. Glenn Lockwood
“The School Act points out three ways of providing for the payment of the teacher, viz.: by rate, bill, subscription, or making the school free, and supporting it by the general tax.
“After the Tories got the majority, a school meeting was called for the purpose of determining how the school should be supported. One Tory Trustee moved that the school should be free. This was lost. The same gentleman then moved that a rate bill be established, when the Reform Trustee moved an amendment, that the school should be supported on the same plan as formerly, that is, by subscription. The amendment was declared carried by a large majority.”
In 1872, William Leverette was mentioned as school teacher in Frankville. In 1875, a new two room brick school was built by Mr. Robert Parker. It is interesting to note that few students went on to high school because of the transportation or family economics. Some local schools offered continuation courses for students unable to board in centres such as Brockville or Athens. Out of the 1881 school class, only three students were admitted to Farmersville (Athens) High School. These were Addie M. Bullis, Ledorna Eaton, and Maggie Prichard.
The Frankville Model School was in operation until 1850, when the government passed new legislation superseding the former act. Frankville not only had a public school complete with a Model School, during the 1840’s, but there was also a grammar school in the village during that period. A grammar school of the early 19th Century was equal to a high school of this century. It was a school of higher grades. The one at Frankville was established in 1843 after the granting of 70 pounds to the Johnstown District Council. It cannot be ascertained as to just when the grammar school was closed. It was in operation for at least a decade. It is believed that the grammar school was within the actual confines of the village itself, while the public school was half a mile southwest of the village.
The old Frankville school was closed with the construction of the new Frankville area Public School in 1961.
Photos of Classes from the new Frankville Public School opened in 1961
1977 Kindergarten Graduation Class from Frankville Public School
George Hornick built the area’s first school. The school was located in Lot 6 of the 7th Concession. The exact date of the construction is unknown but it was listed in the 1861 census.
It was a school which held both Kitley and Wolford pupils, being know on the Kitley side as S.S. No.12 and in Wolford Township as S.S. No 14
In 1861 it was located between the farm houses of George and Robert Hornick and in 1872 the teacher was Samuel Hornick. In 1875 Sam Hornick sold the half acre on which the school was located to the local school trustees.
The school one of the last log structures to be used by the Leeds and Grenville School system was phased out in 1961 after more than a century of service, and Crystal area children were bussed to a new school in Frankville. The old log structure was sold to a Brown Family, moved to the North Augusta Road and renovated as a home.
“It is also known from the Brockville Recorder of 1872, that Samuel H. Hornick was a teacher here so, apparently, the Hornick family catered to the educational needs of the Crystal area for the mid-1800’s.
Teachers at Crystal school for the 1900’s include the following: Miss Sarah Willows, Miss Sarah Quinn, Mr. Fred Challies, Miss Luella Charland, Miss Blanch Warren, Miss Jessie Bell, Miss Ina Quinn, Miss Maude Cooke, Miss Ella Bryan, Miss Louva Race, Miss Myrtle Pryce, Miss Mary Coghlan, Miss Norma Bass, Miss Helen Jelly and Miss Grace Cole”
Glenn Lockwood in his book Kitley 1795-1975
If anyone has any photos or additional information on this school we would appreciate hearing from you.
Concession #4, Lot 17, built early 19th Century (see map)
The former Coad’s school, a stone building, was erected in 1875, replacing the earlier log cabin school. The school had originally been named for the Dack Family, but adopted the name of Coad in the 1850’s.
Dack’s school was built on Lot 17 of Concession 4 about 1830, a simple log structure with unpainted interior walls and austere benches and desks.
“The early log structure served its purpose until the 1870’s when it was repleced by a stone structure known as Coad’s chool. Robert Ferguson was the school teacher in 1872, and during that same year, a petition in the Brockville Recorder, requested $320. for school expenses. The following year another petition asked for $210. During the middle years of the 20th Century, the small school was closed and finally purchased by the Orange Lodge in 1949.
Shane’s School enjoyed an upswing in attendance during the 1950’s, when more people moved into the area. Further down the Town Line Road, Blanchard’s School suffered reverses and was closed in 1956. Pupils from Blanchard’s were then transferred to Mott’s Mills.
Blanchard’s reopened in 1961, operated for two years and closed forever in 1966. Motts Mills School also closed in the early 1960’s. Students from these two schools were then bussed to Jasper Public School.
Blanchard’s School was originally a log cabin located on the northwest corner of the Gardiner homestead. It was replaced in 1874 by a stone structure and educated generations’ of Blanchard children over the next 90 years.
In the School reorganization of the 1960’s, the school was phased out. It is now a private residence and stands on Lot 26 of the First Concession of Kitley. The school was built on land donated by the Gardiners.
In the 1870’s, probably 10 to 15 South Elmsley students attended Blanchard’s School. In 1874, John Gardiner sold the corner lot of his homestead to the school section as the site of a new school. A stone school was erected without borrowing money.
Thomas and Richard Gilday of Lombardy, brothers who specialized in carriage making, also were carpenters and stone masons. They built the new Blanchard’s School.
Blanchard’s School in 1905 had 21 pupils but in 1940 only 5 attended the school. New families coming into the area built up the population again but there were still less than 20 students when the school finally closed in 1963.
(Recorder and Times c1980 Darling Collection Book 5, pg.1)