Reunion held for one-classroom school

GUELPH – Although one room schools are a thing of the past, the memories of students and teachers are special for those who were fortunate enough to attend one.

These schools were one-teacher operations for Grades one through eight.

In 1964 these Guelph Township one room elementary schools were closed and students were bused to Macdonald Consolidated school in Guelph and later to College Avenue school.

Marden School was built with several classrooms and remained open until 2001.

A school reunion was held on May 25 at the Guelph Curling Club for the former students of the Guelph Township Public Schools.

The event reunited students from as far away as Tiny Township near Georgian Bay and British Columbia.

Memories and memorabilia were shared throughout the luncheon enjoyed by 135 people and then additional socializing with another 40 or so who dropped in throughout the afternoon.

Sue Baldauf and other SS#41/2 students shared stories with their teacher, Dorothy (Hodgson) Trimble – stories about shenanigans like hiding a snake in the teacher’s desk.

Another memory was baking potatoes in the wood furnace in the school basement. Students would carve their initials in the potato and leave it to bake on a ledge by the heat.

That same furnace would provide heat through the large floor grate where wet wool mitts were lined up to dry in the winter.

Several of the schools had rooms added on to accommodate the growing population after the war years in the 1950s.

There were ink wells in the desktops of seats of graduated sizes in rows attached to runners.

Friday afternoons were a fun time when art class was held. Routinely the older classes would assist the younger ones with projects such as watercolour painting on large sheets of paper; they also helped younger students with their lessons, marking and correcting their work.

School visitors included the school inspector, the public health nurse and the music teacher.

This event follows another successful reunion of these public schools in 2017.

Submitted by

Barbara Leachman