Archives Lanark is pleased to report the twelfth and final book in the series on Rural Schools of Lanark County is out for Christmas. Anyone wishing to order the Rural Schools of North Burgess should call Frances Rathwell at 613 267-3178 or Marilyn Snedden at 613 256-3130.

The second printing of the Rural Schools of North and South Sherbrooke has less than a dozen books remaining so you should reserve one too if you want a good Christmas gift for a graduate of these early schools.

Archives Lanark at 1920 Con 7 Drummond (Drummond Centre) will be open from 10-3 on Friday, Dec 11 and Dec 18 for pick up of books only.

North Burgess Township was unique in Lanark County because four separate schools were established there in the 1890s. Stanleyville was the largest and even had 2 rooms for some time. Many of the schools were Union Schools with adjoining townships such as Bathurst and North Crosby in Leeds County because that school was closer to where the kids lived.

We were pleased to have great co-operation from many early students and teachers as they related stories from their early school days that would amaze the younger generation today. The outhouse, wood stoves and Christmas concerts were common themes.

In this age of extreme sanitation, the fact that everyone drank from the same dipper out of the water pail that came from the school well(or the neighbour’s well) seems very strange but was common.

Last year the Bathurst book came out just before Christmas so there are still books available as well as Lanark, North Elmsley, Montague and Drummond from earlier years. All books sell for $45.

This project was begun in 2005 so even as the pandemic has meant the archives was closed to researchers, it freed up the volunteers to complete this project.

Bill Amell, whose mother Mary was a teacher in several schools in these areas, donated a major gift of a filing cabinet full of his decades of research on the Legary family and others in the western area of Lanark County. It was timely as a second storage unit had just been rented so there was room for it. Wendy Roberts is working on the inventory of this wonderful addition to the collection.

Please spread the word to anyone out of the area who might be interested in a history book about a major part of rural life before the amalgamated schools took over by 1970.