As the Story is Told: S. S. No. 3 Howard, Slabtown

As the Story is told: A history of Morpeth and communityEvery week, I share an excerpt from the book my Great Aunt helped write, As the Story is Told: A History of Morpeth and Community, which was printed in 1986. This week, we learn history of the school at Slabtown – which was just down the number 3 highway from our farm – and which I passed daily on the school bus as a child.

…previous section…

The first mention of a school west of Morpeth was made in the minutes of the Howard Township Council January 22nd, 1850. According to these minutes, Howard at that time was being divided into five Rural Wards. Ward Number Four stretched from Lot 92 west to the Town Line (Lot 102). It further stated that the election of councillors for this ward was to be held in the “old School House” on Lot 94 Talbot Road with Joseph Richardson as Returning Officer.

In a news item published in a Morpeth newspaper “The Independent” May 24th, 1861, we find this notice: “Sabbath school will be held in the school house, Sec. 3 Howard, at half-past one p.m., on the 26th and to continue each successive Sabbath.”

In 1865 when Isaac Bell and his wife Anna were granted a deed to their property on Lot 98 T.R.N., rights were given on this land for the purpose of erecting a school. In the same deed rights were also given to Collins and Simons for mill privileges on the stream nearby.

Some interesting highlights into the early history of S.S. No. 3 (Slabtown) have come from a Visitor’s Book for that school dated 1869 to 1882. Apparently in those days, vvisits to the school by trustees and other important people of the area, to check on conditions of the school and the preogress of the children, were quite common. There were also the regular inspections made by the Public School Inspector. Excerpts from the book follow:

1869
Jan. 27 – Having visited the school under the management of Elisabette Duncan, it seems to be under excellent control for the short time of teaching and promises well for the future.
Signed – Charles Richardson, Joseph Willson, James Freel.

1871
May 12 – The number of pupils present this day was fifty-five. Another good report was given.
Signed – Edmund B. Harrison, Inspector of Public Schools.

1872
Mar. 22 – This visit was made by a number of citiczens, giving their address as Morpeth. They testified that they had attended the Quarterly Exxaminations of the school when the teacher, Mr. H. Eberle, gave the pupils a thorough examination in the various branches of study. They were impressed with the proficiency of the pupils, with their general good conduct, and the teaching methods pursued by their teacher. Signed – Jane Smith, Frances Smith, James Smith, Sarah Smith, Lizzie Teetzel, Mary Jackson, W. A. Smith, Peter McKinlay, Mary Campbell, Maggie White, A.M. McDiarmid.
Morpeth School Teachers – Robert Sheldon, Isobel McSween.
Trustee of Morpeth – J. Bentley.

1872
June 6 – The attention of the trustees was directed to the condition of the outbuildings Oct. 5 – In consequence of the irregular attendance the various classes did not acquit themselves as well as they did at my former visits. The number present was nineteen.
Signed – Edmund B. Harrison, I.P.S.

1873
Jan. 31 – Visited the school and found it progressing very well but might be kept quieter at recess.
Signed – Anson Fisher, Peter Springsteen.

1874
Mar. 25 – The number of pupils present was forty-seven. I regret to report that some of the pupils have no copy books, will the Trustees have kindness to see that this defect is remedied.
Signed – Edmund B. Harrison, I.P.S.

1875
June 30 – This day I visited the school and was much pleased with the excellent order and general proficiency.
Signed – John Downie, Incumbent of Trinity Church
Oct. 13 – Sixteen students present. I regret to find the school house is out of repair, the Trustees are requested to attend to the same, as soon as possible as the Winter is fast approaching.
Signed – Edmund B. Harrison, I.P.S.

1876
Jan. 25 – Attendance sixty.

1879
Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. – A Christmas Tree to be held for the school and people in the section.

1883
School repaired – foundation, new floors, replastered, new seats, private buildings in each corner of back yard.
Information taken from Minute Book of School Meetings.

1902
Teacher’s salary $325.00.

1910
An additional half acre of land was purchased from Mr. Bell. The school yard was to be fenced and a twelve foot and a three foot gate to be bought to match the fence.

Slabtown school Ontario 1920

Slabtown School, 1920

1930
The section approved singing in the school and are willing to make some remuneration to the Women’s Institute.
Jas. Lindsey was appointed to be a delegate to the Easter Trustees Convention in Toronto. Granted $25.00 for expenses.

1931
Teacher granted $50 extra for teaching Fifth Class.

1933
The board decided to try using paper towels in the school.

1938
A lighting contract was given to Knights of Ridgetown, tender price $53.50 – new electric clock $1.90.

1939
Tickets and flags were purchased for children going to London in June when King George VI visits Canada.

1941
A new fence of pipe for front of the school, flower beds fixed and shrubs purchased.

1942
Ministerial Association granted permission to visit school one-half hour each week.

1944
Attendance low – Several students previously attending Rushton’s School changed to Slabtown.

1947
A new pressure system and inside toilets were installed.

1951
Gideon Bible Society presented Bibles to the students.

1958
A fire escape was built.

1967
Slabtown School was closed – joined new consolidated school – property sold to Roy Brown.

1986
For several years the school has been the home of Miss Agnes Coll.

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5 thoughts on “As the Story is Told: S. S. No. 3 Howard, Slabtown

  1. Pingback: As the Story is Told: Morpeth School – School Trustees & Teachers | The Farmhouse Chronicles

  2. Slabtown was where my sister and I attended school. Entered in 1944 with Miss Marjorie Smith (later Geddes) as our teacher.

  3. Pingback: As the Story is Told: S. S. No. 3 Howard, Slabtown 1909 | The Farmhouse Chronicles

  4. Pingback: As the Story is Told: S. S. No. 3 Howard, Slabtown 1920 | The Farmhouse Chronicles

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