By Mrs. Grace Dean
I visited the
Where I went in days of yore
And many were the strange faces I met,
As we gathered about the door.
I could not find my same old seat
A new one was in it’s place;
But I looked again at our teacher’s desk
Close by the old book case.
The teacher taught by methods new,
Learned in a Teacher’s Training School;
While I learned, “readin”, ‘ritin’ & ‘rithmetric’,
Taught by the old rule.
I thought of the old clock on the wall,
That ticked our years away;
It seemed to be those hands turned back-
Back to my very “first day”.
I saw no more those faces strange,
The teacher and all that was new,
But into my mind a picture loomed-
I’ll try to repaint it to you.
I saw again, the forest wild,
Waving hemlock and stately pine.
I heard the drumming as a partridge flew
From the nest we never could find.
Three settlers cabins nestled,
Where bears and deer roamed about;
Each glowed with a glad warm welcome,
The “Latch-string’s” always “Hung Out”
Before we could be a school district,
We must have three “on the board”;
At least eight for enrollment
Then a school we could afford.
Thomas Wakefield was the director,
The school still bears his name,
And from his log cabin
Half of the enrollment came.
Mr. Ferris was the Treasurer,
“First settler” was his rank,
And from his log cabin came
Willie, Ina, Lewis and Frank
Jacob Shad was the other,
A bachelor in that early day,
And only just this winter
They laid his body away.
The year was eighteen eighty-six,
As you can easily see
How we could build a school house
By the usual “neighbor-hood-bee”.
Before the school was completed,
From the city to our woods country came
A young fellow bringing his family,
McCarty was his name.
To most of us, it’s important, when
To school we first trudge away;
But out-standing in our school history
Is the first time we had a “Last Day”.
We thought we’d have a picnic
Over by Ferris’s in the woods,
And in those old market baskets
Our mothers brought the real goods.
The men built a large platform
For the program underway,
John Maywood and Elmer Johnson
Were the guest speakers of the day.
John Wakefield with a yolk of oxen,
Hitched to an old fashioned dray,
Brought the only organ in the district,
That our program might be gay.
Tom Armstrong and our Geordie
Brought their violins- just by chance;
And while the sun was shining high,
They had a neighborhood dance.
The clock on the wall keeps ticking
The years, and our forests have passed,
And with them our log school house;
We come to the brick one at last.
The brick was shipped from Bad Axe
In the good old
Side tracked down at the crossing
To be hauled some other day.
The Wakefields were the masons,
Alex Parks had the carpenter crew,
They were eficient workmen
As everybody knew.
And when at last it was finished,
And we marched in, inline,
A prouder lot of youngsters
You could never find.
Altho’ I am back at school to-day,
My hair is well nigh gray,
I cannot join the children’s game
Of “Base ball” and “pull-away”.
Yet the school house, like a sentinel stands,
O’er it floats the red, white and blue,
May it always stand
And al that is right and true.
Received from Arzell (Shuart) Mills abt. 1993
Ann (McGillivray) Shuart went to this school.