S.S. #1 (Maley Drive)

S.S. #1 School.  Photo courtesy of "Voices from the Past: Garson Remembers".The first meeting regarding the development of a school and the appointing of trustees took place on May 29, 1907 at the home of Mr. Alfred Belanger. At that meeting, the board voted to accept a land donation made by Adelard Boule for the creation of a school. The land was located on the north side of what is now known as Maley Drive, but in those days, the street was nothing more than a narrow concession road leading to the C.N.R. crossing.

In the summer of 1907, construction began on the first school in Garson. It was a log building and funding for its creation was obtained from taxpayers by Father Lebel. The tax amount to be paid was often determined based upon the number of children a family had enrolled in the school.

When the school was opened in the fall of 1907 for the first school term, the primary language of instruction was French; a highly unusual situation for the times. It is not known how the English-speaking students faired in this environment, but it can be speculated that they became fluently bilingual. Interestingly enough, while the student were learning in French, the board minutes were almost always recorded in English.

The school board would meet once a year in December to elect the members for the following year. Special board meetings were only held when a new teacher had to be hired. One of the people who served on the board was J.H. Carr. He first became a trustee in 1920 and continued to serve on the board numerous times over the years.

In 1908, families of the children who attended the school were asked to donate wood to keep the schoolhouse warm during the winter weather. Each family donated one and a half cords of wood to the school. By 1909, a woodshed was built for the school and in 1911, a porch was added to the building.

As sometimes happened in the early days of education, school was cancelled for the 1917 and 1920 school terms as a teacher could not be found. By 1925, sixty children were enrolled in the one-room school.

Throughout the 1920's and 1930's, a school caretaker was hired to maintain the building and ensure that a fire was always going to keep the school warm.

In the mid-1940's, the school was closed and the students were sent to Garson Public School to finish their education. Interestingly enough, as of 1992, the original school building was still standing, having undergone extensive renovations both inside and out.

Sometime after the closure of S.S. #1, a new two-room school was built on Garson Road to accommodate the students from the former S.S. #1 and from S.S. #2. The school, named J.H. Carr Public School, was a bilingual institution where French was taught in one classroom and English in the other. Eventually, French was dropped as a language of instruction and children were taught strictly in English.

Before its closure in the mid-1960's, J.H. Carr Public School served as an educational facility for children with special needs.


Material compiled from Voices from the Past: Garson Remembers and Nickel Centre Yesterdays.

Follow this link to list more items
Site Map