Photo of the day
Brunson farm 1972- lot 9, Con. N, Rama Twp.
Brunson farm 1972- lot 9, Con. N, Rama Twp.

    Taken from Volume 28 of “Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada” Chapter XXVI–Reminiscences of Superannuated Public School Teachers”–p.255, 256

    Information contributed by Jim Westcott

    1853–I taught my first School in 1853 in The Township of Mariposa, in an old Log Building, without School Apparatus of any kind–a Blackboard even, no excepted.
    In 1854, I moved to an adjoining Section in what was called the “Irish Settlement” which was very much like the other settlement in its disadvantages.
    From 1865 to 1868, I taught in School Section Number One, Eldon, during which time I had better appliances than before. It was at this time that the Clergy Reserve Fund was distributed, and the Trustees of my School, as well as two other Sections, appropriated their share of the funds in purchasing Prizes, Maps, and Blackboards for the Schools. I was deputed to purchase the Apparatus from the Education Department; and I remember well how much assistance I received in doing so from the then Deputy Superintendent, J. G. Hodgins.

    My next School was in the Township of Thorah, County of Ontario, in a place called “Egypt.”……….Afterwards I removed to School Section Number One, Thorah, in which the School House and furnishings were much the same as those in the first two schools.
    In 1860, I came to the County of Simcoe where I taught for twenty years, in Schools which were much better furnished than those in which I had previously been.

    Fair Valley, April 9th, 1896 D. McAlpine.

    NOTE: Mr. D. McAlpine visited the Public School in S.S. No. 7, Oro, on at least two occasions–November 6th, 1889 and March 4th, 1891. He made the entries which follow in the Visitor’s Book for this school.
    S.S. No. 7 Oro, Nov. 6th, 1889

    Spent the greater part of the day in this School listening with pleasure to the pupils going through their various exercises and recitations.
    I have great pleasure in testifying to the efficiency of the Teacher, Mr. Nolan; the exercises in every branch receives his undivided attention. The Reading, Spelling and Dictation were excellent. The pupils appear to be well posted in every branch of study.
    The Section is to be congratulated in having secured the services of so efficient and painstaking a teacher, to succeed his excellent predecessor, Mr. Neil Campbell.
    Mr. Nolan appears to possess a tact and skill in conveying instruction; teaching “The Young Idea How To Shoot,” and drawing out the powers of the children, that any school over which he presides, cannot fail to become a model of progress and proficiency. The order and discipline could not be excelled. We venture the assertion the school is second to none in the County.

    Signed D. Calpine (Ex-Teacher)

    S.S. No. 7 Oro, March 4th, 1891
    Visited this School yesterday and to-day, and found it in a most healthy condition; heard the children going through their various recitations on the programme of the day, which they did from the highest to the lowest grade in the most satisfactory and pleasing manner. They were put to the most searching test, and every question however abstruse was answered with ease, expression and intelligence, giving “the reason why” in every instance. The reading, when that rare accomplishment is at a discount even among our best scholars, was exceptionally good, the pupils reading with expression and evident comprehension of that object.

    The Trustees are to be congratulated on their selection of as efficient teacher as Mr. Partridge evidently is. He possesses that rare tact and skill of conveying instruction to the youthful mind, which are so rare attributes, even among our best scholars, and yet so essential to success that any school under his superintendence cannot fail of success, nor can the pupils fail to become proficient in the subject taught. Any observant person can see at a glance that Mr. Patridge is not only painstaking, but a perfect enthusiast in, and lover of his profession, drawing the latent powers and undeveloped talents of his pupils; and I am much mistaken, or your discerning Inspector will pronounce this one of the best schools under his jurisdiction.

    Signed D. McAlpine (Ex-Teacher)


    On Page 232 of Vol. 1 “Schools & Colleges of Ontario” Mr. Heavener is referred to as an Irishment of Education who succeeded the Rev. Ari Raymond as the teacher in Orillia (year not given).
    The following is taken from Vol. 28 of “Documentary History of Education in Upper Canada”, Chapter XXVI- “Reminiscences of Superannuated Public School Teachers”
    P. 256 (William Heavener)

    1853–I came from Dublin to Toronto in the year 1853, and called at the Normal School to see Doctor Ryerson, who examined me, and sent me forthwith to Mr. Thomas Nixon of Newmarket, who was then Local Superintendent of Schools for the Counties of Ontario and York. He took me to the Township of East Gwillimbury, where I was engaged to teach in a Frame School House, capable of seating sixty pupils…………….From this School I was sent by Mr. Nixon to a place called Atherley in the Township of Mara, in which I taught Schools for a number of years.

    Another School, in which I taught was in the Town of Orillia. It was a large brick building, capable of seating one hundred and fifty children, and subdivided into two apartments, one for the boys and the other for the girls. The School was well ventilated, and well furnished with Maps, and Globes, (celestial and terrestrial.)

    I then went to Collingwood in the County of Simcoe, and taught in a large Frame Building, with a seating capacity for one hundred Pupils, with separate Rooms for boys and girls.

    Afterwards I went back to Mara, and taught for a number of years in the old Log School Houses already mentioned……………………

    The Books and Maps used in my time were those published by the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland. McGauley’s Philosophy and Arithmetic, Sullivan Dictionary of Derivations, Grammar and Geography, Thomson’s Algebra and Geometry.

    Longford, April 16th, 1896 Signed William Heavener


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