School Days

Last month I had the pleasure of hearing school children singing “School Days,” the old song about “ reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of the hickory stick.” The Leeds and Thousand Islands Historical Society organized the event to unveil a plaque honouring schools of the past in the Landsdowne area, their teachers and students.
The plaque, made possible by a grant from the Retired Teachers of Ontario and the hard work of several historical society members, is located near a red maple in front of the Thousand Islands Elementary School. It depicts photos of education in the past. A bench under the tree offers a place to contemplate how education has changed since 1825 when settlers built the first one-room school in the area. Eventually there were nine one-room schools, and only one remains – Greenfield School, a frame building built in 1894.
The Leeds and Thousand Islands Historical Society has a project to restore this school. Eventually it may join the 41 one-room school museums in Ontario that help us remember our educational heritage.
Millie Morton

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