Some School History – Context for Glen Tay Public School

Posted by on October 28, 2018 in Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 3 comments

Timeline of History of Education in our part of Ontario

School Registers

21 Mar 1851 School Registers Required for reporting now available

  • 1807 Upper Canada Grammar School Act provided the first public funds for secondary schools for the establishment of a ‘Public’ school in each of the eight Districts of Upper Canada. These schools later  became known as ‘Grammar Schools’.
  • 1815 Emigration assistance offered by Lord Bathurst permitted a school teacher to accompany each group of families desiring to form a community and £50 would be paid annually.
  • 1816 -1820 The Common School Act  Inhabitants of any town, township, village or ‘place’ might meet to arrange to build a school. When the school was built and provision made for the teacher’s salary, three trustees could be appointed who were authorized to decide on hiring criteria for the teacher. District Boards of Education were appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and the trustees were required to report to the Board annually.
  • 1816 John Holliday arrives in Perth and constructs a log building on lot A North Burgess, part dwelling, part school-house. It is replaced ten years later by a stone house.
  • A school is built on Lot 21 in Bathurst township, near the Scotch Line along the Glen Tay sideroad,  to serve the settlers of the Scotch Line.
  • 1817 Rev. William Bell arrives and proposes to open a village school in Perth. Duncan McCormick was the teacher in the first Drummond township school located on concession seven lot fourteen.
  • 1818 a Mr. Murdock, a Roman Catholic teacher unsuccessfully challenged the Bell designation as village teacher and eventually went to the Lanark Depot.
  • 1820 Common School Act renewed. The Lanark Society settlers appointed four trustees, James Hall, Alexander Ferguson, Robert James and James Thompson and prepare logs for the construction of a school to also serve as a church. The school is erected during the summer of 1821 but they do not have a teacher. George Richmond, the teacher who accompanied the group was killed the previous winter by a falling tree. Robert Mason, my 3X great grandfather, arrived in 1821 and began classes in 1822 in New Lanark.
  • 1823 A general Board of Education was established for Upper Canada.
  • 1824 A District Grammar School was established in Perth with John Stewart as the first teacher. The Common schools of Perth and the townships were entrusted to a District Board of Education consisting of Mr. Harris, William Morris,Anthony Leslie, Alex McMillan and Dr. George Reade. The Board of Education was granted monies to create Sunday Schools for “moral and religious instruction of the more indigent and remote settlements”. and the right to decide hiring criteria for teachers was transferred from trustees to the District Board.
  • 1838 There were 84 schools in operation in the Bathurst District with 1154 boys and 936 girls in attendance. Thirty one pupils were attending the only grammar school located in Perth.
  • 1841 The position of General Superintendent of Education created after the union of Upper and Lower Canada.
  • 1842 The School Report for Bathurst District reveals that Bathurst has 13 school sections, all occupied except SS#12.
  • 1843 The act of 1841 repealed and the new act created the position of Chief Superintendent of Education for Canada West.
  • 1844 Egerton Ryerson was appointed Chief Superintendent and served until retirement in 1876.
  • 1847 Ryerson returns from tour of European schools and submits his “Report on a System of Public Elementary Instruction in Upper Canada“.
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22 Jan 1869 School Books for Sale

  • 1859 March 23, Ralph Davidson and wife sell part of Lot 19 Concession 2 to the Trustees of the Manion School Section for $28.00.
  • 1872 The Annual Report of the Normal, Model, High and Public Schools of Ontario 1872 provides some insight into schools of Lanark County. Henry Slack, Esq.  reports that he visited, at least twice all the schools in the county. He reports that only a small percentage of the school age children in the county are actually attending classes or are only attending classes for six months of the year and that school buildings are inadequate. He is a strong supporter of the replacement of Section trustees with a Township Board of Trustees who can take an overall rationalization of buildings, their placement and the hiring of teachers with less influence from local influence. At this time ten school-houses, most of them stone and frame, are either planned or under construction. Many others are being repaired or made habitable. Land is being purchased for playground and out buildings are being erected. The supply of certified teachers in the area is adequate for the need.

Students wishing admission to high school must pass examinations at one of the two opportunities held during the year. in 1872 95 pupils have qualified. A new system of ‘payment by results’ is to be implemented and the schools slotted by category. Perth is category 2, Smiths Falls is category 3, while Carleton Place, Almonte and Pakenham are category 4, with argument for Carleton Place to be advanced to category 3.

School field days where children are publicly examined in the presence of their parents and friend have proven quite successful. “At McDonald’s Corners, Balderson’s Corners and Glen Tay, I attended very successful entertainments of the above nature”.

“The principal defects that I observed in my first visits to the schools were 1) a want of a system of classification 2) a lack of a thorough and intellectual mode of imparting knowledge. The former had arisen from the fact that a uniform programme of studies had not been in use, and that parents had interfered too much in specifying the course of training to be pursued by their children; while the latter found its cause in the pernicious practice of following a bookish routine, without a sufficient appeal to the observation and intelligence of the pupils. Too much attention was paid to the memory, too little to the working of the mind. A judicious use of the excellent programme of studies authorized by the Council of Public Instruction, and the habit of simple and familiar questioning , combined with lessons on common objects have already had the happy effect of making a great improvement in the defects above noticed.”

  • 1872 In August the Inspectors of the Province formed a Provincial Organization. It was reported at the convention of this group that the Chief Superintendent in his Report for 1871, as was noted in 1870 also, “That as a general rule, the eastern section of Ontario, east of Kingston – the county of Lanark excepted – is far less advanced and far less progressive than the western part of the Province.”
  • 1872 In July a meeting of the teachers of the County resulted in the formation of a Lanark Teachers’ Society. Quarterly meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the best methods of teaching and the group raised funds to establish a Teachers’ Professional Library.
  • 1873 September 29, James Kearns and wife sell part of Lot 19 Concession 2 to the Trustees of School Section for $5.00.
  • 1876 First Minister of Education, Adam Crooks, was appointed. and served for almost eight years. For the next 90 years, education in the province was guided by the Ministry of Education in the path initiated by Ryerson.
  • 1882 December 18, Francis A. Hall and wife sell a portion of Lot 19 Concession 2 to the Trustees of School Section for $5.00.
  • 1967 Building of new Glen Tay Public School on the Harper Sideroad and consolidation of Bathurst Township Schools.
  • 1968 December 31, Bathurst and South Sherbrooke Township School Area Board sell the ‘old’ Glen Tay School to Hubert Hosie who later converts the building into apartments.
  • 1968 Release of Hall Dennis Report “Living and Learning” and opening of new Glen Tay Public School.
  • 1984 Grade 13 replaced with Ontario Academic Credits (OAC).
  • 1997 Education funding moves to the provincial level
  • 2003 High School becomes a 4-year program and OAC is phased out
  • 2013 Release of Fullan Report “Great to Excellent“.

check out these additional posts:

Glen Tay Public School Photos 1950’s

GlenTay (Manion) Public School SS#3 Bathurst Township Early School Photos



  1. Diane,
    The school was sold December 1968. An interesting note was that he raised the whole roof by jacks high enough until he had a second floor.
    I remember him talking about the fire but I don’t remember when it happened. possibly early 1970’s?The fire if I remember correctly was not in the old school/apartment but in a concrete apartment nearby that Uncle Hubert built.

    The Hosie farm was at the corner of Christie Lake road and Bowes road. Dad, uncle Hube, my aunts, Iva and Sally went to the high school in Perth in the summer with a horse and buggy. In the winter it was with a horse and sleigh. The horse stayed out in the school yard all day covered in a blanket and a feed bag of oats.
    Upon returning home there was work to be done in the barn for the boys and in the kitchen for the girls. Then they could do their homework.
    Life in those days on the farm was very hard. Also they did not have electricity until early ’50’s.

    Tom Hosie

  2. Wow, Diane! What a great timeline! I appreciate the amount of research that this took!

    • Rose, there is a lot more detail that could be added. I only added info for the Perth and general background areas. Use and enjoy. Jean McGill’s book has lots more info.

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