Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections
Painting of Merton School, S.S. #15
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Painting of Merton School, S.S. #15


This painting of the school was donated to the Trafalgar Township Historical Society from the Lawrence family. Albert Victor (called Russel), and his wife, Sarah Ann (Carrique) were the original dairy farmers at what is now 1318 Third Line, Oakville, Ontario. The farm was passed on to their son, Victor James Lawrence, and in turn was passed on to the son of Victor James and Anna Reta (McLean) Lawrence, Harold McLean Lawrence. The farm was sold to developers in 1972 but Harold continued the farming operation on a leased basis until about 1990. Harold's older sister, Lorna Allienne (Lawrence) Wilson remembers the painter rented a house from her father on the south side of Upper Middle Road. (Her father worked this farmland.) The painting signature seems to be: Tolatter 1938. Merton school was first a log building. A brick one, S.S.#15, was built in 1857 that was later demolished to make way for the Queen Elizabeth Way. It sat on the east side of Bronte Rd. Merton's school closed in 1958 and area children then went up to the newly built Palermo public school on what is now, Old Bronte Road south of Dundas. The school was active in the life of the community with literary and drama clubs, and an active Home and School Association. Sir Thomas White who was Canada's finance minister during World War I and was acting Prime Minister when Borden attended the 1919 Paris Peace Conference had been a student at S.S. #15. Dr. A.H. Speers who became Medical Officer of Health for Burlington also attended the school at Merton. A newspaper clipping of Merton news from 1889 in the Trafalgar Township Historical Society archives gives snippets of school related news: "Mr. McGillivray has been re-engaged as school teacher for 1890." Also, "Mr. John Luscombe has been called to take charge of a school in Ontario county." "Extensive preparations are being made to give a good entertainment and Christmas tree on Christmas eve. Come everybody and load the tree with presents for our friends."