April 6, 2019

The One Room School

Early on in Newfoundland and up to the time that it became a province in 1949, a lot of small outports did not even have schools. Many of the ones that did, however, had to put up with rough poorly built structures with one classroom that had very poor heating and no running water. The heat usually came from a pot belly stove in the center of the room. The toilets in most cases were outhouses built for that purpose. The children usually referred as pupils were expected to help out by bringing along wood for the stove.

I taught in a one room school from September 1961 to June of 1963. It was St.Marks in Long Beach Trinity Bay. This is the one depicted in my painting. It is painted as close to what it looked like based on my memory along with some information that I got from my friends and former pupils.

A lot of small schools had stages like this one. I believe there may have been doors instead of curtains. The main emphasis however is on the one room and the pot belly stove. Most one room schools were abandoned after the introduction of the big yellow school bus around 1963. Children were bussed to regional schools.

2 Comments on “The One Room School

Len Hend
April 6, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Why did the stove chimney pipe not go up through the roof

April 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Len, I noticed my error after I took the picture and have since fixed the stovepipe.


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