Tag Archives: author

Sleeping in School

Schoolhouse near Beaverton
Schoolhouse near Beaverton

I slept in school – or, more accurately, I slept in a former school. The opportunity came when I was invited to speak to the Beaverton, Thorah, Eldon Historical Society. One of their members owns a renovated one-room school. She very kindly offered hospitality
When it was new in 1926, the school had many features considered modern at that time – separate entrances for boys and girls (still there – see photo), an office for the teacher, and a bell on the roof. A finished basement partitioned into two sections, each with its own chemical toilet, provided separate play areas for boys and girls. Until 1969, it was a school. Now it is a roomy home, with a modern kitchen, four bedrooms, and modern bathrooms.
Nearby in Beaverton, the Historical Society maintains a museum and archives. It includes an old stone jail, a log house (1850), and a storey-and-a-half brick home furnished to about 1900. On display were many household items mentioned in my book, including a butter churn and a treadle sewing machine.
I was pleased to discover the friendliness of the historical society’s members and their extensive efforts to preserve their heritage. As the noted scientist Carl Sagan said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Millie Morton


From School Room to Tea Room

Millie with Ernie Pattison in The Old Ormsby Schoolhouse Tea Room

Millie with Ernie Pattison in The Old Ormsby Schoolhouse Tea Room

Imagine a large room with several dining room tables, large windows, and an old-fashioned wood stove. Add a Union Jack, a blackboard, a couple of wooden desks, books and artifacts. Clearly, this was a one-room school. Now it’s The Old Ormsby Schoolhouse Tea Room, near Bancroft, Ontario. The photo shows Ernie Pattison, owner of the tea room, welcoming me. Last month, while numerous patrons enjoyed a tasty lunch, I shared stories about Grace and one-room schools.
The old schoolhouse used to be S.S. #3 Limerick – that’s School Section number three in Limerick township of Hastings County. Nearby is the Old Hastings Mercantile and Gallery, an old house transformed into a shop and filled with gifts of every kind. Gary and Lillian Pattison run the gift shop. Ernie and Debbie Pattison operate the tea room. Both places are gems in the countryside – off the beaten path and well-worth a visit.
Millie Morton

Apples and Enoch Turner Schoolhouse


Having grown up on an apple farm, I love apples. We ate them whenever we wanted, at meals and in-between. So it was a very special treat to be presented with a fresh apple after my talk at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in Toronto.
I enjoyed the evening, the beautiful setting, and the enthusiastic audience. Several people had attended one-room schools – some in Ontario, others as far away as New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and even Britain. I shared one of Grace’s poems –  Morton Apples. She wrote it for a booklet of apple recipes we gave to customers at the farm.
Though the apple farm is no longer in our family, new technologies enable apples to be available year-round. Grace’s poem remains a reminder of those carefree days when I often had an apple in my hand.
                        Millie Morton

Morton Apples

Morton apples, they are dandy
Always keep a basket handy;
You can make a pie or cake,
You can even apples bake!
Use in dumplings, cookies, crunch,
Have for breakfast, dinner, lunch;
Give as gifts when you’re a guest,
You will be forever blessed;
Let the children have a share
They’re good for skin and teeth and hair;
When you’re off your feet a bit
Dine on apples as you sit.
Morton apples, do you hear?
Are sold to cooks year after year.
We’ve Spy and McIntosh and Sweet
The Snow and Delicious can’t be beat.
So use these up and come for more,
We’d like to sell them by the score.
                        Grace Morton