In 1871, the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly passed the Common Schools Act, which gave financial support to regions throughout New Brunswick. Thus, Pennfield District No. 1 built a number of schools. The Trout Brook School was built a couple of hundred yards below the United Baptist Church, on the Beaver Harbour Road. Also, a number of other schools were built in Pennfield, at this time.
Clarence Munroe stated that when he was a little boy, there was another school on the Beaver Harbour Road, built where the old United Baptist parsonage sits today. He described it as a horse hovel. You could sit inside and watch it snow or rain through the cracks in the walls.
The Trout Brook School was quite an improvement over the one Clarence Munroe went to. It was 18'X30', a one-room school that held 30 desks and seats. It had one school teacher and she taught seven grades. There was a tin bucket and tin dipper that everyone drank from. The girls and boys' toilets were outdoors, and a wood stove heated the school.
The Union Jack was flown proudly at the school, being put up in the morning and taken down every day. The sun never set on the Union Jack flag.
I was given the privilege of reading the ledgers of the school, dated 1880 up to 1946, along with some registers.
I would like to thank the individual, very much, for trusting me with these valuable papers.
Here are some things from the ledgers:
1880 - The School bought one cord of wood from William Shaw, $3.
1881 - Paid for a padlock for school, $0.15.
1881 - Paid for blackboard, $2.
1883 - Paid W.H. Justason, $2.50 for one cord of wood. Paid school teacher $75 for summer term.
1885 - Paid for broom, $0.35.
1888 - Paid T.E. Brooks for repairing stove, $0.75. Paid George Hutton for building fires for one month, $2.
1892 - Paid for one pail, $0.20, and one dipper, $0.08.
1897 - Paid for a new school bell, $0.50.
1918 - Teacher's salary for winter months, $100.
1927 - Paid Christie's woodworking $57.76 for hardwood to lay new floor.
1928 - Paid $34.13 for shingles and nails to re-shingle roof.
These are the gentleman who were paying school taxes in support of the Trout Brook School in 1889: William Justason, John F. Adams, C.P. Hanson, Samuel Munroe, R.J. Justason, Elmer Justason, Ezra Justason, Rev. J. Tremble, Colin Justason, James Justason, Daniel Justason, Frederick Justason, J.F.C. Justason, Caleb Justason, Zadock Hawkins, W.H. Hawkins, Isaac Young, Samuel Poole, Thomas Justason, Sydney Justason, Joshua Prescott, Charles Shaw, Joseph Bucknam, Charles Trynor, W.N. Bucknam, and W.S.Poole.
Here are some of the school teachers who taught at the Trout Brook School:
1889 - Maggie C Sherrard
1890 - Miss Flora Britain
1892 - Miss Flora Welsh
1894 - Mary Hawkins
1904 - Annie M. Hayter
1906 - Bessie Barry
1908 - Flora Gillespie
1910 - Miss Guptill
1915 - Miss Thompson
1919 - Miss Johnson
1921 - W.M. Barrett
1927 - Elva Harvey
1930 - Miss Armstrong and Miss Goldman
1931 - Miss Robinson
1935 - Rupert English
1936 - Viola Justason
1937 - Margaret Vallis
1939 - Miss Winn
1943 - Miss Sentell
1943 - Miss Margaret O'Brien
1946 - Shirley L. Hawkins
1947 - Miss Hazel Murray
Nov. 22, 1944, Trout Brook School: A special meeting was called by County Superintendent A.M. Anderson, for the purpose of consolidation of Pennfield schools. It was explained there would be a new school built at Pennfield Corner, and the one-school would be closed. It was moved by George McKay, seconded by Clifford Justason, that Pennfield would consolidate. Thus was the beginning of the end for the one-room schools.
These are the students who were going to school at Trout Brook School during 1946-1947:
Ruth Anderson, Joan Campbell, Allen Dines, Joyce Dines, Margaret Dines, Mary Dines, Edward Hatt, Alfred Justason, Eleanor Justason, Grace Justason, Murray Justason, Ola Justason, Phyllis Justason, Sheldon Justason, Arlene Leighton, Frances Leighton, Linda Leighton, Allen McKay, Eugene Monahan, Laird Monahan, Willard Monahan, Elaine Murray, Maxine Quigley, Allen Stewart, Allison Stewart, Gwendolyn Stewart, Elizabeth Robichaud, Florida Robichaud, Herbert Travis, Royce Wells, Donnie Murray, Marie Murray, Ritchie Murray, Myrna Murray, Bertha Bradford, and Ellen Bradford.
The Trout Brook School had served its era well. The Union Jack will no longer flutter in the breeze. The sound of the bell ringing will not be heard, nor the laughter of children. A new school had been built at the Pennfield Corner.
The Trout Brook School was sold to Albert O'Berg for a workshop, but the memories of this little school will linger in many a heart, that progress cannot take away.
SOURCE: "The Saint Croix Courier" (March 4, 2003) - written by permission.