Seeley’s – A One Room School House in Elizabethtown

Seeley’s School

(School Section #10)


Location of school on a map of 1861-62

The original school building made of stone, was built in 1849. The second building, built of brick in 1889, burned one cold winter’s day on January  26, 1957.

The growth of the settlement at Seeley’s necessitated the building of a school. In 1849 one was built on the corner of Sawmill Road and that leading to Leetuck, or Lee Road on the farm of Thomas Booth. This location was on the 6 acres purchased by Alexander Stewart. In 1889 the school became crowded and John W. Stewart, rather than have the new one so near his own dwellings, gave another lot and drew the bricks from one lot to the other. The first teacher of the new school was Homer Moore. On Sunday January 26, 1957 the building was destroyed by fire. Only the bell in the belfry and one baseball bat in the basement were saved. Seeley’s School was built across from North Star Farms at Seeley’s Corners.

The last teacher was Mrs. Allan Stewart and she and her twenty pupils were transported to the Old Lyn Public School. Starting the following September, 1957, the pupils went to the new Lyn School, then to the New Dublin School. (Mrs. Allan Stewart 1967) (The Recorder and Times January 1957)

A teacher’s yearly salary in 1862 was sixty dollars.

The original building was probably a one room log building.

“Old School Victim of Sunday Fire. A venerable brick building built in 1889 was complete. It was destroyed by fire of unknown origins. The school had a capacity for 33 pupils; however at the end it had 20 students. Mrs. Alvin Gardiner, residing nearby spotted the fire about 1:10 pm. Brockville Fire Department was called, but before the men could receive permission to make the trip, a second call was received stating that nothing could be done to save the building. There was no water supply and the nearby creek was frozen solid. The school was a sturdy building that served the community well during the past 68 years. The building was about 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. It had been the means of education for generations of district youngsters. The current students would be bused by Stewart’s bus lines to the Lyn School.” (Women’s Institute History Book 3, Page 174)   

The building no longer exists.

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, constructed in 1810, condition: Not Good

1854: Stone building first opened in 1809

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

that the application of the Trustees of School Section No 10 be complied with and the sum of Two Hundred Dollars be levied and collected on the assessed Taxable Property of said section exclusive of expenses for School Purposes (Lyn Museum Archives)

School Ledger book 1920

Expense Ledger for Seeley’s School, SS#10

Receipts Expenditures
Item Amount Item Amount
Balance carried forward $507.15 Teacher’s Salary $710.00
General Grant $500.00 Fuel $75.00
Trustees Levy $302.72 Caretaker $20.00
1st Legislative Grant $121.37 School Fair $5.00
Superannuation $16.25 Cleaning School $7.00
2nd Legistrative Grant $25.48 Library $1.75
Total $1,472.97 Insurance Premium $16.50
J.Square’s Account $9.20
F.G. Mullins Account $1.25
M.Billing’s Account $2.00
Clock $4.50
Brooms, Chalk etc $6.40
Total: $858.60
Balance on Hand: $614.37

Seeley’s School and Class Photos

No pictures exist of the original school, only of the new brick school house built in 1898

Seeleys Sch Oppening Day 1898 SF12#15 (1)
1898 – Seeley’s School Opening: Back Row extreme left no hat and no mustache is Sanford Darling Sr. Front Row on left with white collar is Sanford Darling Jr. 4 years old; Also Mina Darling, 14 years old; Rosaltha Darling, 12 years old; Lewis Darling, 8 years old; Anna Darling, 6 years old. (photo #1)


Seeley's School WI bk4p328
Seeley’s School (photo #2)


Seeley’s School date unknown (Photo #3)





Seeleys Sch SF12#1
Seeley’s School no date (photo #4)











1920’s Seeley’s School Class (photo #5)


1922-24   Elsie Craig Pettem back row 6th from left (photo #6)



1924 – Seeley’s School, Arbour Day (photo #7)
1925 – Front Row: Alvin Gardiner; Frank Willows; ? Burnham; Ward Pettem; Elmer Hanna; Cecil Chant; George Beach. Middle Row: Gladys Pettem, Doris Chant, Cecil Pettem Back Row: Elmer Anderson; Mildred Gardiner, Louise Booth (teacher); Dorothy Chant. (photo #8)


1927 – Front Row: Frank Willows; George Beach; Elmer Hanna; Ward Petter, Gladys Latimer (teacher); Alma Willows; Jean Pettem. Back Row: Nora Freeman; Bessie Hanna; Grace Pettem; unk Usher. (photo #9)


1927 – Doing the garden, Front row: Jean Pettem; Muriel Hanna; Alma Willows; Ken Mott; Elmer Hanna Back Row centre: Nora Freeman and Ward Pettem (Photo #10)


1927 -names in random order: Bessie Hanna; Ward Pettem; George Beach; Elmer Hanna; Jean Pettem; Muriel Hanna (photo #11)


1929 –Front Row: unk; Eileen Green; Jean Green; Eva Jowett; Rosie Shire, Unk; Eileen Norris; Iva King; Alvan Pettem; Jean Stewart.
Middle Row: Mrs. Pettem; Donnie Green; Mrs. Stewart; Mrs. Jowett; Margaret Norris; Eleanor King; Maion Pettem; Dorothy Cornell holding Shirley; Lillian Shire; Raymond Hanna; Vera Roddick; Marguerite Mott; Dawn Green; Buelah Mott.
Back Row: Pearl Hanna holding Leona; Miss Hollingsworth; Muriel Hanna; Mrs. Jackson; Minnie Gardiner; Miss Davis, Unk; Mrs. King; Vivian Mott; Audrey Hanna; Gladys King; Muriel Norris; Jean Pettem; Mr. Lucas; Alma Willows (photo #12)


1930- Front Row: Mary Jowett; Unk; Margeurite Mott; Marian Pettem; Eleanor King; Gladys King; Audry Hanna; Mae Jowett; Ray Murphy.
Middle Row: Vivian Mott; Jean Simpson; Muriel Hanna; Jean Pettem; Alma Willows; Harold Jowett; Keith Mott; Art Jowett.
Back Row: Glenn Darling; Ken Mott; Lewis Darling; George Beach; Elmer Mott. (photo #13)


1935- Halloween Party (photo #14)


1941 – Front Row: Marian Pettem; Eleanor King; Marguerite Mott; Eva Jowett; Vera Roddick; Eileen Green; Rosie Shire; Jean Green
Middle Row: Eileen Norris; Lillian Shire; Dawn Green; Iva King; Beulah Mott; Raymond Hanna; Harry Halladay
Back Row: Margaret Norris; Alma Willows; Miss Hollingsworth; Herb Simpson; Harold Howett; Keith Mott; Don Green; Art Jowett; Don Jowett.(photo #15)




1943 – Front Row: Marjorie Mustard; Gwen Green; Isabel Church; Gwendolyn Church; Shirley Cornell
Middle Row: Harry Anderson; George Cornell; Leona Hanna; Connie Mustard; Joan Stewart; Wesley Pettem; Floyd green; Alvin Pettem
Back Row: Raymond Hanna; Eileen Green; Barbara Stewart; Jean Green; Margaret Weir (photo #16)



1943 – no names (photo #17)


1950 –Front Row: Carol Green; Emma Jane Green; Doris Cole; Faye Forrest
Middle Row: Jimmie Mustard; George Pettem; Edward Green; Leroy Hutt Woods.
Back Row: Mary Anne Forrest; Gwen Green; Alla Jackson; Colin Forrest. (photo #18)


1950 – Front Row: Norma Howe; Georgina Forrest; Norman Forrest; Henry Barker; Mary Cornell; Kenny Gilbert
Middle Row: Irene Forrest; Bonnie Hanna; Dorothy Mustard; Ronnie Pettem; Charlie Forrest; John Barker; Larry Mustard; Wayne Howe
Back Row: Arnold Jackson; Robert Weir; Betty Jackson (photo #19)


1950’s – Front Row: Edward Green; Robert Weir; Arnold Jackson; Charlie Forrest; David Walker; Larry Mustard; Ron Pettem
2nd Row: Irene Forrest; Dorothy Mustard; Shirley Howe; Bonnie Hanna; Judy Howe
3rd Row: Jim Mustard; Leroy wood; George Pettem; Doris Cole; Fay Forest; Emma Jane Green; Betty Jackson; Doreen Leeder (teacher)
Back Row: Orlie Cole; Colin Forrest; Alvin Pettem; Allan Jackson; Gwen Green; Mary Ann Forrest; Carol Green (photo #20)


1953 –Front Row: Larry Mustard; David Thompson; Wayne Jackson; David Walker; Perry Crowder; Doug Mustard; Donnie Howie
Middle Row: unk Walker; Linda Cornell; Susanne Hutt; Joanne Walker; Sylvia Gardiner; Judy Howe; Norma Howe; Bonnie Hanna; Shirley Howe; Mary Cornell
Back Row: Leonard Walker; Ronnie Pettem; Arnold Jackson; Bobbie Weir; Georgina Johnson; Betty Jackson; Dorothy Mustard; Pam Perkins (Teacher) (photo #21)


1957 – Last class before the school burned down (photo #22)


News clipping (photo #23)



School Fire (photo #24)


Teacher’s who taught at the school

The Old Stone School from 1849 to 1898

Miss Annie Neil; Miss Coon; Miss Jennie Barrington; Miss Sara Halliday; Miss Maggie Rowsom; Miss Susie Moore.

The New Brick School from 1898 to 1957

1897: Odella (Anna) Scott, Homer Mine, Isadore Clow, Francis Hayes

1907: H.H. Homes

1910: Gladys Johnston

1912: Florence Boyd

1916: Mary Bissell

1917: V. Elliott

1918: Duane Wilson

1919: Mabel Marshal

1924-30: Kathleen Forth

1931: Gladys Latimer, Louise Booth

1932: George Jones

1933: May Hollingsworth

1937: Jean Purvis

1938: Margaret Robinson

1940: Norma Moffat

1942: Lillian Baker & Vera Stewart

1945: Blanche McCann

1946: Carol Wright

1947: Mildred Parslow

1949: Doreen Leeder

1950: Dorthy Vickery

1951: Edith Hutton

1953: Pamela Perkins

1954: Geraldine Stewart


Teacher Mary Bissell 1916 (photo #25)


Photo #26