10 October 2017

Perth & District Historical Society Meeting on Thursday

On Thursday, 12 October, 2017 at 7:30pm P&DHS has scheduled the presentation

Our One-Room Rural Schoolhouses

Archives Lanark documents the stories of the area’s early schools. One room schools are an element of the past.  A school where students shared the classroom with all ages and where the teacher taught all grades and classes.  It could be a case where every student was first in his or her class, and at the same time was last in that class.  A school where, in earlier days, there was no electricity or plumbing – and the first to school in the morning was expected to start up the stove.  However, despite these conditions, there were great teachers and successful students.  These one room schools, full of so many memories, are the topic for the October 2017 meeting, documenting the community roots and educational system. 

By the 1960s, most of the area’s small country schools had been closed in favour of large, central institutions.  In time, it became apparent that the many stories of these traditional parts of the area history, and their teachers and students, were becoming lost.  In 2005, a group of six Archives Lanark members recognised the need to preserve these stories, and formed a Volunteer Group to research and record the histories for Lanark County.  Then they undertook the major task of publishing a series of books documenting the stories for individual townships in the County. 

Since the beginning of the project, Archives Lanark’s Volunteer Group has published one-room rural school books for ten Lanark County townships including: Darling and Lavant; Beckwith; Dalhousie; Drummond/North Elmsley; Lanark; Pakenham; and Ramsay Township.  The most recent, published in 2017, is “The One Room Rural Schools of Montague Township.”  Research has commenced for books on four more townships: North and South Sherbrooke; Bathurst; and North Burgess.  These books have proved popular and some are sold out. 

The speaker, Frances Rathwell, is a member of this Volunteer Group, and, also, on the Society’s Committee.  Frances was born in Almonte, and moved to Perth with her parents and older brother when she was one.  She attended Stewart School and Perth & District Collegiate Institute, and, in 1967, moved to Ottawa to start a graphic design career, returning to Perth in 2002.  Since then, Frances has volunteered on our Historical Society’s committee, at a local nursing home teaching Internet, and taught basic computer skills at the public library.  She has served as Public Relations Officer, Vice President, President and Treasurer for the Lanark County Genealogical Society, and four times as Archives Lanark Chair.

You are invited to this presentation at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion,
home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation

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