Once Upon a Time
'Carrick School Days - Part 2'
by Bob Johnston

October 19, 2016


Once Upon a Time

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SS2 Carrick School (undated)
Courtesy of Bruce County Museum Archives

It was once suggested to Elizabeth Polfuss that she write something about her memories of school days in Carrick Township. These are some more of those memories.

Life in Otter Creek School, S.S. #2 in Carrick around 1915 was quite different from today. My reminiscences of the school, situated on the banks of Otter Creek, a tributary of the Saugeen River, were very happy ones. The Otter Creek Flour and Grist Mill was situated across the road from our school and many times we rode home sitting on top of bags of “chop,” quite different from riding home in a school bus.

Arbour Day was celebrated on the first Friday in May. We planted flower beds, raked the school yard—a general outdoor cleanup. A mill pond was situated nearby and sometimes we went for walks along its banks, learning the names of wildflowers, weeds and insects. All this helped us with the preparation of our individual exhibits for the Rural School fair held in Mildmay in September.

Christmas concerts were always a very important part of the school year and enjoyed by the whole community. Our school had a platform at one end about a foot higher than the rest of the room. There stood the teacher’s desk, and now at one side stood a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Candles were fastened on the ends of the branches and very carefully lit. Only once did the tree catch on fire, and was quickly put out by the chairman of the concert (always Mr. Thomas Jasper.) The concert was made up of songs, accompanied by organ playing, recitations, dialogues and dances. I once did a recitation requiring at least a dozen dolls, including my very precious two foot doll with a china head and movable joints.

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We were very proud of our school. Life was not easy then but we were taught to give our best, and to respect the teacher. Those days were happy times for all of us.


Adapted from an article by Elizabeth Polfuss in the 1987 Yearbook of the Bruce County Historical Society

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016