A Brief History of the Schools In Muskoka by Gary Denniss

Morrison Township
Five school sections
First one in Muskoka. S.S.NO.1 Severn Bridge. According to the Rev. John Gray, of Oro, the settlers at Severn Bridge built their school in 1862 thus making it Muskoka's first school house. According to data collected during a school reunion in 1959. J.T. Bailey donated land near Severn Fair Grounds for a school & a school was built by Moses Davis & Andrew Boyd. The school was destoryed by fire in 1891.

Severn Bridges teachers since 1911:

Ida Hunter 1911
Mrs Bayle 1912
Annie McPhee 1913
Isabel Kew 1914
Louise McDonald 1915-1916
Olive Robertson 1917-1918
Elissa Borrow 1919
Mrs Curl 1920
Maisie Yeoman 1921
Miss Ken 1922
L.E.Robson 1923
A.M.Tait 1924-1925
Blanch Pardo 1926-1927
A.M. Tait 1928
May McCrackemn 1929-1932
Kathleen Tait 1933-1934
Mildred Johnstone 1935-1937
Katie Banting 1938-1940
Margaret Armstrong 1941
Elsie Wilson 1942-1943
Grace Latchem 1944-1945
Walter Dubois 1946
Angus Gillis 1947
Anne Skelcar 1948
Docienne Smith 1949-1950
Katie Manson1951 1958
Principal at Morrison Public School Mrs. Katie Manson 1959

Cardwell Township
4 - school sections in this township.
S.S.No.1 Rosseau Falls. First school in S.S. No.1 Cardwell - located west of the Rosseau River on lot 29 concession 2 near the Parry Sound Road (now Hwy. 532). Built - 1888 & closed in 1915 1932 - a new brick school situated east of the river remained open until 1952 was later sold & is presentlty occupied as a home.

Rosseau Falls teachers since 1911:

Elvin Black 1911
Bella Clements 1912
Eva Ariss 1913
Gladys Clements 1914-1915
Jean Ross 1932-1933
Ruth Fletcher 1934-1935
Jean Cambell 1936-1937
Muriel Crawford 1938-1939
Annie Robertson 1940
Amy Beley 1941
Helena Kime 1942
Jean Nethery 1943
Majorie Connell 1944
Jean Bagley 1945-1947
Helena Kime 1948-1950
Mrs P. Andrews 1952

Village of Bracebridge

Separated from McCaulay in 1875, there were four class rooms being operated by the trustees; one was a rented room in the Brick Block. In 1878 the board began to arrange a land deal that would provide a new site for a new, central school. A piece of land south of the Roman Catholic Church seemed suitable and plans were set in motion to purchase it from the owner, Mr. Holditch. Mr. J.L. Fenn, of Bracebridge, was awarded the contract at $5,650 to build the six room school. This school was in use by 1881 with Mr. William Neilly as the first Head Master. Several additions were made to the original school, the first being in 1901 to house Continuation School classes. The elementary school section continued to be overcrowded so in 1907 the Fourth Ward two-room school was erected (the person Legion Hall) which contained a junior & senior room. The latter was closed in 1927; the junior room followed in 1932.
Mean while an addition at the Central School in 1916 provided needed washrooms facilities as well as other necessary rooms. Overcrowding remained a problem, in fact classes were being held in the Gospel Hall until two classrooms were added in 1922. Fire destroyed part of the school in late 1923 & again there was a shortage of classroom space. This problem was alleviated when the High School was built in 1925. The Bracebridge Public school was replaced in 1957.

Bracebridge Public School Principals since 1911:

W.I.Clarke 1905-1912
W.F.Wilson 1912-1913(until Easter)
Ralph Langdon 1913-1921
Bruce R.Minns 1921-1958(until August)
Neil Haight 1958-1971 (until December)
Allan Peever 1972-

Bracebridge High School

In 1901 a Continuation School was established at the Bracebridge Public School. An additional two rooms were required to bring this into effect & they were built by Mr. John Baker. Mr. W.C. Shier was the first Principal here, and he was also over the elementary section. It wasn't until 1918 that High School status was requested & approved, thus bringing into being a High School Board appointed by the town council.

The original members were:

T.J. Anderson chairman, T.N Bird, Walter Hare, L. Lacy, J.W. Reid, W. Shier. In November 1925 the New School was ready and the principal, Mr. George S. Johnaon and his staff moved in. Muskoka had obtained her second High School building Public Staff of a another day! Mae McCracken, Leda Scovell, Minnie McCracken, Greta Cosh, Ethel Jefferies, Pete Kirk, Bruce Minns, Edith Robinson, Inez Ecclestone. Principals since 1911 (Continuation School since 1918) Samuel Shannon 1908-1920, A.B. Steer 1921-1924, George S.Johson 1924-1925, Miss P.V. McNeeley 1926-1940, Donald C. Stirling 1941-1943, Cecil R. Wright 1944-1956, George Young 1957-1958, Clare Prosser 1959-1968 (December), Ken Black 1969 (January).

Many Thanks to Sharon for submitting the above information

The Yearley School

This wonderful piece on the Yearley School and area was submitted by Ed Griffith who wrote this piece with the help of his cousin Gordon Quinn. Gordon is the grandson of William Quinn the Yearley School's first teacher.

On behalf of the Parry Sound Muskoka Genweb, I would like to thank them very much for sharing this information with all of us.

A number of the families that settled in Yearley between 1876 and 1883 were neighbours in Proton Township, Grey County.
William Quinn had been the teacher of their school in Proton and apparently the families in Yearley asked him to move to Yearley and teach there. William did and built a school of logs on the east side of the Aspdin Road just south of Yearley.
He was not a trained teacher but apparently at that time it didn't particularly matter in rural schools. In 1893 the Provincial Government decided it did matter and William lost his job. By 1909 the road had also been moved further west isolating the school so it was decided to build a school in Yearley.
There was a church in Yearley beside the community cemetery that was not serving its purpose any longer so the citizens decided to use it. Lorenzo Howell moved the school using oxen to where it sits today as part of the Community Centre in Yearley. It was known as School District #5.
During the 1910s and 20s the teachers were not qualified to teach high school entrance so the children had to board in Huntsville and try their entrance there and then continue there for high school.
Few children left Yearley to continue school away from home at that age. Most in Yearley couldn't afford it. The school continued to operate until 1959 its last teacher being a Mr. Kolhley.

Return to MAIN PAGE