Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Swords School

The school is located approximately one kilometre south of the general store. As with most schools at the time, it probably housed grades 1 - 8 in one room.

As mentioned in a previous post, Maple Lake Station was established in 1894 when the Booth Railway brought lumbering to the area.  Ludgate Lumber Company put up the general store and three workers' houses directly to the south of the rail and in 1904 a school was built to service the children.  Maple Lake Station became Swords in 1925 to avoid confusion with another Maple Lake Station.

The building of the school was funded by a Mrs. George Waugh.  The school closed in 1936 as a result of decreasing attendance, but reopened in 1941 when attendance increased.  The school closed for good in 1958 and left in the care of the Maple Lake Club.

I wandered up there yesterday morning with my son, Henry.  The schoolhouse has been restored and is used as a community centre today.  Remnants of it's past life still exist though.  On the south side of the property, near the border between lawn and forest is the water pump.  I imagine children lining up at it on hot late spring days to get a drink of water. 

Behind are the outhouses.  One has been saved and restored for present day use, labeled "womens".  The other has been left to it's own slow decline into the earth below.  Beyond the outhouses is an expanse of forest.

I'm glad for the restoration of this building.  I believe it crucial to maintain and keep history alive in this way.  What else is left, after all?  After all who remember are gone, who's left to tell the story?  Sites such as this live on to pique our curiosity and make us dig deeper. 


  1. Very interesting post. I still remember my elementary school. We had 2 rooms that held all 8 grades.

  2. I'll have to double check, but I believe my cousin's grandmother taught at that school. "Mrs. A" ...all I can recall is that she used to walk quite a distance to get to the school. I get back to you when I find out.

    1. nope ....she taught at what is now the Humphrey Museum (on Hwy 141 across from Clear Lake Road) but she did walk from out Orrville way!!