S.S. #2 Palermo School Children, 1951
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- This photo is courtesy of Wayne Shillum. Wayne moved to Palermo with his family in 1950. His parents bought the farm at 3133 Burnhamthorpe West and their two older boys, Wayne and his older brother Bob, started school in the fall of 1950. They went to the one-room schoolhouse in Palermo (which is now the home of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society).
Wayne has written a book for his children which includes his memories of going to S.S. #2, Palermo. He remembers always entering through the back doors, into the basement. The back door was locked until the teacher, Mrs. Wettlaufer, appeared at the back door and swung the hand bell to signal the start of the school day. Students lined up with girls on the left, boys on the right, proceeded down the stairs into the basement. The boys used the cloak room on the right (west), the girls used the left side (east) cloak room. Wash rooms were located in each cloak room, wooden peg coat hangers with a shelf above for lunch pails. Benches ran along the wall underneath.
The children went upstairs towards the front doors of the school on the Dundas Highway. Half way up the stairs were the great double front doors used only for visitors.
Continuing further upstairs from a turn at the front doors, students entered the schoolroom. It had blackboards stretching across the front and east side of the room as can be seen today. In the southwest corner was a stool with a dunce hat. The nurses' room was on the southwest side of the front entrance stairs, and the teachers' room was on the southeast side - both on the classroom level. The layout today still shows these areas on the schoolroom floor level.
Wayne remembers the school day starting with the Lord's Prayer, singing God Save the King/Queen, the singing of a hymn chosen by a student, announcements by the teacher, followed by interesting news that students might wish to share - perhaps a new litter of puppies, or a new born calf or colt.
Each grade had blackboard space allotted for their activities. Mrs. Wettlaufer would teach one grade at a time while the others worked on the assignments on their board section. When enrollment increased, a second teacher would be hired.
Wayne remembers a 30 minute morning recess, one hour lunch and another half hour afternoon recess.
He remembers home plate being right behind the school with the baseball diamond going to the north. An old stone wall along the right side of the playground was used as a fort for war games.
A swing hung from a chestnut tree fairly far back (north). The chestnut trees, which were all along the front of the school, provided good sized nuts for battling games with baked chestnuts (you baked them to harden them). You put a shoelace or string through the nut and banged yours against that of your opponent.
Another S.S. 2 alumna remembers many snakes hatching around the well in the playground behind the school each spring. With the stream and pond behind and to the east of the school, there was plenty of wildlife.
- Shillum, Wayne E. The Farmboy in 1950's Palermo Ontario. Publisher: WES Marketing, cJanuary 2018. ISBN 1987978064, 9781987978063 (Available from Amazon.ca)
- Date Of Event:
- June 1951
- Personal Name(s):
- The teacher might be Mrs. Golding.
Back Row Left to Right: ?, Jimmy Broughton, Benny Rynsoever, Victor Jessop, Wayne Shillum, ?, ?, ?, ?
Front Row Left to Right: Judy Heslop, Faith Davis, June Kingston, rest unknown.
- Local identifier:
- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
- Geographic Coverage:
- Recommended Citation:
- S.S. #2, Palermo School Students, 1951
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