FURRY FRIENDS THANK THE COMMUNITY
Old Valley Wentworth Heritage Schoolhouse is important to the community
People may say on seeing the title, “What! There are no schoolhouses in Wentworth now!”
It is true that there are now no operating schools in Wentworth under the Department of Education (sad to say), but there is still the Old Valley Wentworth Heritage Schoolhouse. It has the history of being a typical oneroom school with Grades one to 11 all taught in one room by one teacher, but as the secretary/treasurer of the Wentworth Valley Community Hall Association, Carol Hyslop, says, the association takes its past history as an asset, but has now a larger purpose. That is to preserve the history of the community, in particular, the Wentworth Valley/Station. The association was created a heritage school by the Municipality of Cumberland.
Hyslop, acting as the association director, sent out special invitations to the volunteer workers who specifically helped with the maintenance of the schoolhouse during the past year.
Entering the Old Valley Schoolhouse for the Christmas dinner, there are still symbols remaining of the one-room schoolhouse: double student desks for two students, three blackboards, a wood stove (still working and maintained). There was time to meet, greet, and chat with one another before sitting down to eat. Debbie Barclay had spent the entire day cooking the meal. The wonderful menu consisted of turkey with dressing, cranberry sauce, tomato chutney, vegetables, rolls, tea and coffee. Norah Topping helped by bringing in an apple pie and Howard Waugh brought in ice-cream.
After people left, the director of the Community Hall Association stayed for a business meeting: Debbie Barclay, chairwoman; Hyslop, secretary/treasurer; Bobby Hunt, Francie Hunt, Harold Barclay, Butch Atkinson, Debi Atkinson, Ernest Wood (absent this time), and two volunteers Topping and Waugh.
The Old Wentworth Heritage Valley Schoolhouse is 115 years old. If there had not been serious maintenance over the years, the building would have been taken over by the woods or else intentionally torn down. In 1902, Alexander Munroe, a resident of the Valley, received a contract from the school trustees to build a new school for $530. This was because visiting school inspector Craig had ordered the present school be placed elsewhere and a new one built at the same site by Aug. 1, 1903. It is excellent that this beautiful site remains as it’s situated next to a Cobequid Mountain range which has the highest peak (High Head) in the area and a brook which begins the Wallace River.
In 1959, the Community Hall Association was formed to buy the schoolhouse after it was closed due to amalgamation of all the Wentworth one-room schools into one central Elementary School at Wentworth Centre. That housed Grades one to six and Grades seven to11 to go to Pugwash District High School. The schoolhouse was first kept as a Rifle Club and Ski Club. Then Friends of the Old Valley Schoolhouse (a nick name for the association) made use of it.
From left, Bobby Hunt, Robert Lafrance, Monica Lafrance and Kathy Saxton enjoy a holiday dinner located at the Heritage Wentworth Valley Schoolhouse.
Mother Erica vanVulpen-Wilson, father Gregor Wilson, and son George enjoyed the Wentworth Valley Schoolhouse Christmas Dinner.
Norah Topping and Debbie Barclay cooked a wonderful holiday menu at the Heritage Wentworth Valley Schoolhouse.