Blackburn Schools in the early years

Published in The BANAR September 2019 by Don and Evelyn Budd

Blackburn’s original school was built in 1865-66 and was made of logs. Later the logs were covered with wide wood boards put on the perpendicular and then painted with dark red barn paint. The boards were put on by William Bradley and a hired help, John Hudson. The painting was done by Adam Kemp and Thomas Dagg. The clapboards and white paint were added in later years. Unfortunately the school burned down in 1915.(1)

“As I think and ponder over days gone by, it give me a great deal of pleasure when my thoughts wander back to the time spent teaching in Blackburn”.(2)

The second school in the Blackburn community was a one-room red brick school that was built on an acre of the farm owned by Adam Kemp. In 1954 the third Blackburn Public School was built. A former teacher, Mrs. William Purdy, nee Agnes Anderson turned the sod for the new two-room yellow brick school. Extensive additions were added in 1960 and 1964 as the community grew. The school is now called the Norman Johnson Alternative School. Its mandate is to help young individuals, 15-20 years of age, attain credits and graduate so they can move forward into the world of work or post-secondary education.

In 1955 École Ste. Marie Separate School, a one-room stucco school was built and used until a new larger brick building was built that housed both a school and a chapel. In 2014 four new classrooms were added.

Blackburn Hamlet Schools

First schools in Blackburn Hamlet

École Ste. Marie

École Ste. Marie

1. “Blackburn —Glen Ogilvie Centennial History 1867–1967” Booklet compiled and edited by Mrs. Anna Elliott.
2. Written by Agnes Anderson (Mrs. Wm Purdy) who taught at Blackburn in 1896. The first of four teachers who became “Mrs. Purdy” in Blackburn.

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