Ridgetown Schools

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The first schoolhouse of Ridgetown was a long building situated on the east corner of lot 7 in the 9th concession of Howard Township, almost opposite the brick schoolhouse known as No. 6, Howard (Scane School). It served for meetings and school for many years and was opened in 1828.

The teacher was supported by subscriptions from the parents according to the number of children sent from each home, whether they attended or not. Part of the salary of the teacher was paid by boarding around with the families who were sending children - board taken as payment on the salary.

The second schoolhouse for Ridgetown was built on the next corner on lot 9 in the 9th concession where Johnston's Shoe and Gent's Furnishings is located. Charles E. Scane was the teacher. A wing was added in 1872 and 2 teachers. A crowded condition came. In 1875 the building and ground of the Methodist Church on Ebenezer Street was bought by the Public School Board. It became the primary wing of the Public School.

In 1882 a large brick, 2 story and basement, school on the south side of Jane Street was built. Additional rooms were added in 1889; now 10 teaching rooms.

On September 1883, the High School was opened in 2 rooms of the public school building with around 30 pupils, average age 17 years. In 1885 - 145 pupils.

The first high school building was completed in 1884, costing $7,162.47 for school and equipment, engaging 5 teachers. In 1926 the Agricultural Vocational School was built and 42 pupils were enrolled. An additional building was added. It offered a 4 year course equivalent to University matriculation. Have now 11 regular teachers and 1 part time for the 2 schools.

A great deal of credit goes to Mr. Angus Gillanders and Mr. Reek who was in charge of the experimental farm. School Buses were provided to bring pupils to school and return them home, at expense of those using them. Thus the children came from a greater distance to receive the higher education.

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.
2004-10-29