The Farmhouse Chronicles

As the Story is Told: Morpeth School, S. S. No. 2 Howard


Every week, I share an excerpt from my Great Aunt’s book, As the Story is Told: A History of Morpeth and Community, which was printed in 1986. This week is the story of the Morpeth school, which I never saw standing. My great aunt taught there, and my dad and grandfather attended school there.

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Morpeth School, S.S. No. 2, Howard

Since the early records of the school in Morpeth have also been lost, there is very little of its early history available. It is a known fact, that for many years, the old Rockey house was used as a school. The younger children gathered in a room in the front part of the house while the older ones were taught in the back room with the principal in charge. In 1866 Mr. J. J. Boulter was the principal with Miss Esther Tobias his assistant.

Such noted men as The Honourable David Mills and Mr. Edmund B. Harrison were among the early teachers here in Morpeth. Mr. Harrison was a Kent County pioneer and succeeded the late Hon. David Mills as an inspector in the public schools in Kent in 1865.

In 1877 a new red-brick school was built with Mr. Brier as principal and Miss Emma Reynolds as his assistant. Both of these teachers had taught in the old school. The land for this new school had been bought in 1873 and 1874 at a cost of almost two hundred dollars.

The lots purchased were as follows:

A high picket fence was put around the yard. A board walk went from the gate to the doors and on around the school. The pump was just at the point where the walk divided. The school was heated with wood furnaces. There was an attendance of around ninety in the early days of the school. At that time, public examinations were the fashion and were held twice a year.

In the 1880s’s Mr. Robert Park was the principal. He was the father of Chatham’s Victor Lauriston. Willie Park chose Vcctor Lauriston as his penname and later adopted it as his legal name.

According to the records the following changes took place down through the years:

In 1967, when the new central school was opened, Morpeth school was purchased by John Coll who soon tore down the ninety year old building and erected a new home on the property. Miss Duck and Mrs. Dell moved into the central school where they became members of the first staff.

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