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Past history in Wentworth

Wentworth Centre School, watercolour by Anne Broughton
Wentworth Centre School, watercolour by Anne Broughton - Submitted

Wentworth News with Hope Bridgewater

In the year 2012, the Wentworth School Reunion Committee created a successful program at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

An excellent book called Reflections of Wentworth One Room Schools 1819-1959 was written by members of the school reunion committee.

I will in future intermingle columns with excerpts from this book with columns about people and events.

This time I am printing a column from Reflections as it was printed locally in a small number and deserves more recognition.

Typical Wentworth One-Room Schools 1819-1959

Research shows that before 1959 six one-room schools dotted the countryside in Wentworth comprising West Wentworth, East Wentworth, Wentworth Valley, Lower Wentworth, Wentworth Centre and Appleton.

The reason for so many schools in Wentworth was because students then walked to school on gravel roads, and students were not required to walk more than two miles to get to their destination.

In the days of the late 1800s and early 1900s, funds for each school were collected from local people and were used to buy school supplies and maintain the school buildings and grounds and to pay the teacher’s salary (with the help of periodic government grants, municipal and provincial).

The administration was done locally for each school by an annual ratepayers meeting with elected trustees and secretary/treasurer who met to arrange the coming school year budget for wood to be cut for the school stove, to check on the water supply from the dug well, to have the grounds accessible as the seasons dictated, and to have necessary repairs done to the buildings which consisted of the school and two outhouses (one for the boys and one for the girls).

The everyday janitorial work was done for a small fee by an elder student who started and stoked the first each school day during the cold season, swept the floor and kept the blackboards in order.

In 1914, when Lillian Tuttle was hired by Appleton trustees Leonard McGill, Isaac Patriquin and Wilbert Lynds, she was paid $100 for the year – according to the Form of Agreement.

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