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History of S.S.#5 MAA
History of S.S.#5
 

Around 1845, there was an S.S. #5 in Markham Township at Brown’s Corners (Woodbine Ave. and Hwy 7).

 

What did this school look like?  We only know that it was a wooden building.  From other descriptions of early schools it was likely a single room with benches lining the walls. Students traveled several kilometers to spend their day learning the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. This “education” provided them with the necessary skills to do what most Canadians did, farming.

 

Mr. William Stiver taught at this school for 11 years.  In addition to teaching, he had to chop wood, start the fire and keep the schoolhouse clean.

 

As the population of the area grew and reforms in education were introduced, a more modern school became necessary for a more modern facility. In 1872 an acre of land in Buttonville was purchased for $100.00 and a new school was built.

 

The new school’s design was based upon plan 3 as outlined by Deputy Minister of Education for Upper Canada, J.G. Hodgins, It was a brick building that held desks for sixty-eight students, with a teacher’s platform in the front. A wood burning stove provided heat and doors on either side of the teacher’s platform led outside to separate outhouses and playgrounds for boys and girls.​

   Schoolhouse Floor Plan                                      S.S.#5 Buttonville 1883

schoolhouse floorplan    

What does S.S.#5 mean?

It stands for School Section #5. Our school served the fifth school section in Markham.

Rural areas were divided in sections that were about 8km by 8km.  A three-person board of trustees managed each school. Anyone who lived within that area attended the school and the families paid taxes to operate the school. 

Many of us have heard stories of students having to walk 8km to get to school.  This is a bit of an exaggeration!  The longest walk to a rural school was about 4km.

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