Painting of Merton School, S.S. #15
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- 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."
- Merton boundaries were present day Burloak Drive to 3rd Line, the railway tracks near Lake Ontario north to Upper Middle Road. The intersection of Bronte Road (originally called Station Road) and the Queen Elizabeth Way (formerly Lower Middle Road) was the centre of the Merton area.
Early area settlers were David Utter, Joseph Smith, William Bates, Cornelius Tipps and Henry Cale. The name "Merton" was likely chosen to commemorate Lord Nelson (his English home with Lady Hamilton was "Merton Place") as other local villages had chosen Bronte and Palermo. John Sheridan was appointed post master in December 1883 and serviced until his resignation in August 1917 when the office was replaced by rural mail service from Bronte.
- Looks like the painting signature is Tolatter 1938
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- Albert Victor "Russel" Lawrence, b.1866 d.1954 (Russel was the son of Ferris and Mary Ann Lawrence, Ferris was a son of Orange Lawrence.) ;
Russel married Sarah Ann Carrique, b.1866-1952. ;
Their son, Victor James Lawrence, b.1896 d.1976. In 1925, Victor married Anna Reta Mclean, daughter of Samuel McLean and Emma Giles. ;
Their children: Lorna Allienne Lawrence, b.1928, and Harold McLean Lawrence, d.2009.
- Local identifier:
- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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- Painting of Merton School, S.S. #15
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton