I was out doing some exploring of abandoned places recently, and by chance I came across and old schoolhouse. I was pretty excited to find this place as most old schoolhouses from the 1800’s are either now gone, re-purposed (which is a great thing) or locked up tight. However this abandoned schoolhouse was different, it didn’t have a front door and was easily accessible. I love going inside these old buildings in hopes to catch the slightest glimpse of how things used to be.
Once I entered the abandoned school, instantly I noticed that there was still an old chalkboard mounted on the front wall of this one room schoolhouse, how could this be? how did this chalkboard most likely from the 1800’s survive and not been looted or vandalized. It was in pretty rough shape and crumbling in many places but mainly intact. As I approached I noticed faint writing on the old chalk board, was it recent? maybe messages from other explorers? and old lesson? or perhaps a time capsule message left by students or teachers over a century ago. Its really had to say for sure, however after some closer examination my personal opinion this is a message from the past on this old schoolhouse chalkboard and here is why.
You will notice one of the chalkboards have been strapped, wood placed over the old chalkboard on a slight angel. To me this signifies that at some point in the school-houses history, the old chalkboard was upgraded and the wood strapping was added to hold the new chalkboard in place over the old one. The newer boards were most likely removed and sold or reused when the school was closed, once again revealing the old chalkboard hidden behind. You will also notice the writing on the old board goes underneath the wood strapping. I have tied to make out what is written but due to it being faded its very hard to make out, however you can clearly make out a date of 1889 in one section.
So a message from past teachers or students from the 1800’s? who knows, but is surely was an exhilarating find, and an interest look back at our provinces early school system. Another thing of interest in this old schoolhouse is some of the original old ornamental metal trim and wall coverings are still present in a few spots, most notably above the chalkboard.
The location of this old abandoned one room Ontario schoolhouse can be found on our Abandoned Locations of Ontario Map.