Elmira

Elmira

     Elmira had three different schools , the first one was built around 1867, then a new school was built between 1915-1918, the third school was later built by Anneaus Bailey and group of volunteers it was located on the present property of George Sweeney.

     The Elmira schools taught students in grades 1-10, they were taught subjects in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, History, Spelling, Grammar, Geography, History, Science and French. Some of the teachers at the Elmira school were: Winifred MacInnis, Margaret Campbell, Marguerite Machon, Elizabeth Grant, Marion Harris, Noelle Holland, Florence MacLean, Betty Ching (Bruce), Leah Kennedy, Joanne MacAulay, Bernard Mooney, Elizabeth Harris, Joan Murphy (Duffy) & Michael Harris. The school district covered the area from Percy Murphy’s to Ernest Morrow’s.

     The students attended school from September until June with two weeks off in the fall so the students could dig potatoes. The Christmas break was from Christmas Eve until the day after New Year’s. The students didn’t get a March Break and they didn’t have storm days like the students have now.

     Most of the students walked to and from school each day and many that lived close to the school would walk home for their lunch hour and come back in the afternoon for classes. Those students who lived farther away would bring their lunches with them. In the winter if the weather was really bad the students who usual went home for lunch would bring their lunches with them and have lunch with their friends.

     The children had 15 minutes for recess which they enjoyed playing games such as baseball, tag and game where there would be two teams and they would throw the ball over the roof of the school to the ones waiting on the other side to see if they could catch it. In the winter the kids loved to go coasting on the school property.

     To keep the school clean the students all had chores that they were responsible for doing. Everyone had to take turns taking in the water. It would be hand pumped into a bucket at the hand pump and taken into the school. The floor also had to be swept after school; the students would take turns, a week at a time. The students also had to take turns going to school early to light the wood stove.

     The students did not have field trips back then but sometimes in the summer the class would go on a picnic to the southwest corner of the school yard.

     Most of the teachers that taught at Elmira were able to live in their own homes except for a few who would board at houses in the area. Teachers often boarded for free in the community in exchange they would do chores at the boarding house. The community collected money which was called a school tax that was used to help pay the teachers.

     Students received a report card from their teachers which they would take home to their show their parents how they were doing at school. The superintendent, Mr. Harold Hynes, came to the school two or three times a year. Mr. Hynes would ask the teacher and students questions as an evaluation on to see how everyone was doing.

     Meeting places in the community were the Elmira Train Station, Elmira Post Office, the Elmira Store, and later the Eastern Kings Community Centre.

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