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Going to School 421
Going to School


School Lunches

“We brought our lunches in a brown paper bag and we liked to toast our peanut butter sandwiches in the big pot bellied stove and it was a fight to get the wire toaster which was hanging up at the back. […] We would see who could get it first and then line up to use it. […] Our lunches were very simple and for a drink you went to the pump out in the schoolyard and used the common cup."

-Dorothy Reesor-Hood

"We took our lunch and quite often that was a brown sugar on lettuce for sandwiches and peanut butter and then at school there was a toaster, just a hand wire toaster like, so we would fight over that to see who would get the toaster to toast their peanut butter sandwiches in the big pot bellied stove and there’d be nice coals there by noon so you’d have to hold [yours] and others would have to wait till yours were toasted. And I remember going out to the pump to get a drink of water but then after a while they would have a bucket of water and a cup and you could drink from that.”

-Dorothy Reesor-Hood

Craig House002.jpgCraig Blacksmith005.jpg 


The one [teacher] was [Duncan] McPherson, I think his name was… I jacked his car up, and got a bunch of guys…we lifted his car up and put it on blocks, because he did give us the strap that morning, and then we got it so we got back at him, he couldn’t go home. So we all hid in the bush beside the school here and waited for him to come out and then he couldn’t start his car so they had to get the tow truck and lift it up…And the tow truck guy was laughing and we were all in the bushes there...”

-John Craig




















Craig House and Blacksmith Shop.

“Then there was the time one kid threw some shotgun shells into the pot belly stove - blew the stack right off!”

-Bill Hood


“[I remember] the teacher ringing the bell and students going inside, but one boy would act as ringmaster and lead the students directly through the classroom and out the two doors on either side of the teacher’s desk. When the teacher came in from ringing the bell, shwould be greeted by an empty room.”

-Bill Hood



“I remember another teacher […and] they tied her
to a chair and she wasn’t able to ring the bell for the
end of recess. […] She sometimes played along with
them and they got the best of her that day."

-Isobel Hood


"I seem to remember something about Uncle Bob
[Thompson] being stood on his head, stood on
his head in the corner because of the way he was
acting […] just acting up, being silly, poking a girl
in the back or something."

-Isobel Hood and Dorothy Reesor-Hood


Getting to School
Kelly Snowshoes.JPGHorse and Buggy Buttonville009.jpg

“I was coming to school and the snow was deep and I don’t know how it happened but this mouse got into my parka and it was up on my head somehow and I came to school and then this mouse was, we were aware of a mouse on my parka and I don’t know what…like I’d hate to think that they might have thrown it in the stove but I’m not sure what happened to it.”

-Dorothy Reesor-Hood



“The public school was just below the Hooper farm, it was a one room schoolhouse with eight grades and we walked to school but I can remember in the winter time, Dad taking us to school in the cutter pulled by the horse with a buffalo robe over our legs to keep us warm but this cutter would go over the drifts of snow that we would have and we’d get to school and perhaps we’d find the ink in the ink wells frozen before the pot bellied stove got warmed up for the day.

-Dorothy Reesor-Hood*


“One finger was for permission to go to the outhouse. This had to be watched closely as a few only wanted the excuse to get outside. The two-finger was simply to ask a question.”

-Bob Thomson**



“I recall an occasion when our teacher, Mr. Nichols, was giving us a talk from a large chart showing the circulation of the blood, the veins, the arteries, etc. in bright red colours. I felt myself getting lightheaded and gave the sign to leave the room. I was heading for the pump to get a drink of cold water when I fainted and lay down by the well. I was aroused by another pupil, Gordon Scott, who had also taken sick. He got to the well in time and had a cold drink, then he poured a few cups of cold water on my forehead. This brought me around. Gordon then stretched out under a big maple tree. When I returned Mr. Nichols asked me where I had been. I told him that I had fainted and that Gordon Scott had put a few cups of cold water on my forehead, and that Gordon was sick, lying under the maple tree. He went out to find Gordon. I cannot recall seeing that chart again.”

-Bob Thomson**

*Excerpt from Oral History:
 Dorothy Reesor, Life in Markham & Buttonville
 Recorded in 2007
 Collected by Markham Historical Society
 Markham Museum Collection
**Attended school starting in 1906, age 6
  Excerpt from Memoirs of a Farm Boy at Dollar
  Uncle to Dorothy Reesor-Hood and Isobel Hood
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