Return to their roots
Former Springbrook students invited to attend their first reunion
Springbrook Schoolhouse has a history that reaches back before Confederation.
The former one-room schoolhouse, originally located on a graveyard where the children would play, is holding its first all-student reunion.
Carolyn Paynter from Charlottetown is organizing the event. She attended Springbrook Schoolhouse in the early 1950s and fondly remembers the rural community rallying together to support each other.
“In the winter, when it was really stormy, the farmers would take turns bringing us to school on their horse and sleigh. They would wrap blankets around us. And the Women’s Institute would give us canned vegetable or tomato soup,” she reminisced.
The community was originally known as Greenwich, and earliest references of schools in the area stretch back to the early 19th century, although the exact date the schoolhouse was built has grown blurry with time.
Throughout most of the years the schoolhouse was in operation, a single teacher would tutor all subjects from Grades 1 to 10.
“We had around 25 people in class and there might have been one person in Grade 1, one person in Grade 2, maybe no one in Grade 3, and so on,” explained Paynter. “It must have been hard for the teacher because they would have to cover every subject.”
Roma Francis was only 14 years old when she taught at Springbrook in 1946, for one year. Back then the tiny schoolhouse was nestled in front of the freestanding Geddie bell tower on the Presbyterian Church graveyard.
In 1948, the building was moved to its present location by log rollers and a single horse.
“We had outdoor toilets, one big room where the desks were in rows and a fire to keep the building warm.” Paynter added with a grin, “The farmers’ cows from would come stare at us when we were playing in the yard.”
Paynter left the Island and joined the Armed Forces as a finance clerk and lost touch with many classmates over the years. She is enthusiastic about the reunion that will take place in New London Hall, on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 3 p.m.
“I am looking forward to seeing everyone.”
For more information on the reunion, contact Paynter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn Paynter points to a photo taken of her when she was eight years old at Springbrook School. The photo was taken around 1955.