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TALL SPRUCE School District # 4902


Sec Tsp 41 Rge 8 W of the 2 Meridian
Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, Canada


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I found your website extremely interesting because my mother, two aunts and an uncle attended a one room school mentioned on your website.  The name of the school is Tall Spruce and I have several photographs of it that I'd like to share with you.  One of the pictures is from about 1934 of the entire class and the teacher standing next to the school. Attached, also is a certificate of completion from 1943 to certify that my Uncle Harold successfully completed eighth grade at Tall Spruce and was promoted to the ninth grade.  I included color photocopies of both sides of the document.  The back of the certificate has all the subjects listed and the marks he received.  There were eight kids in the Buchan family and I believe five of them attended Tall Spruce School.

A book called Does it Ring a Bell? that was produced by the The Porcupine Plain and District Museum Society for the 1983 school reunion. There is a page on Tall Spruce school and another class photo with my mother and one of the school. The one photograph I sent you of the reunion was taken in 1983.

The book states the school was in operation from 1931 - 1965 however, the photos show a sign in front of the school that said 1931 - 1956. The mentions my Uncle Ernie Buchan, who helped build the school and his wife Adele Loraas who was one of the teachers. Adele was billeted with my grandparents while teaching at Tall Spruce and when my Uncle Ernie returned from overseas, they met and married and Adele quit teaching. Three people in the attached class photo; my mother Muriel Buchan, her best friend Freda Benson and my Uncle Bob Buchan. Sever Benson in the back row is Freda's brother.

Kathy Hunter

Construction of Tall Spruce school was undertaken by several community volunteers such as Harry Hipkins, Joe Plant, Alex Hodge, Vic Mason, Odin Benson, Ernie Buchan, Bert Wells, Harry Turgeon, Charlie Courville, Bob Cole, and Art Green. On completion, the district held a picnic and hosted games for the families. Tom Bunn was the attenance officer for Tall Spruce who was delegated to encourage regular attendance from school age children lest the family be fined. Some of the early teachers at Tall Spruce included Mary Smith, Robert Lewis, Mary Groves, Jean Campbell, Jean Grainger, Martha Hanson, Mrs. C. Edwards, M.A. Pinkerton, Orvina Mallon, Violet Marriott, Norma Morken, Blanche Lamont, Adele Loraas, Olga Kryschuk, Chester Fannon, Cornelia Hurley, Laddie Kowlaski, and Vonda Skawski.
--Source Does it ring a bell? page 92

George Alexander Buchan's family helped organise and build Tall Spruce School, where a half dozen of their children received their elementary education. The Tall Spruce homemakers club got together to pack parcels to send overseas in 1944 during WWII. George Meredith offered carpentry skills during the construction of Tall Spruce, and Bill Hope was one of the early school trustees.
--Source Cordwood days to modern ways : Carragana, Chelan, High Tor, Porcupine Plain, Somme, Weekes pages 31, 62 135, 159, 225, 300, 303, 304, 317, 326, 379, 390, 408, 445, 459, 493
Other sources
Porcupine Plain town website

Title: Cordwood days to modern ways : Carragana, Chelan, High Tor, Porcupine Plain, Somme, Weekes
Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan
Porcupine Plain & District Historical Society, 1978


Title Does it ring a bell?
Published c1983
"This book has been prepared by the Porcupine Plain & District Museum Society for the 1983 School Reunion ... edited by Myrla Birch, cover by Margaret Hashimoto"




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