b'HISTORIC SCUGOG by J. Peter HvidstenOld Yeller A few months ago a picture of ReachTownships Old Yellow Schoolhousewas posted on the Port Perry Bulletin. Thephoto received considerable response andinspired many memories. In response to the many inquiries andcomments, this story delves into the history ofone of former Reach Townships earliest andbest known one-room public schools. Much of the information below, aboutthe original yellow schoolhouse, wasrecorded in the Honeydale Womens InstituteTweedsmuir Community History books.The Old YellowThis old photograph, which has been colourized, is believed to have beentakencirca1930,andshowstheoldyellowschoolbehindapicketfence.Schoolhouse the school. The woodshed, which faced north was moved behind The first school to be constructed on the school and turned to face south.the site of what is referred to as yellowOn November 1930, the old Yellow School was burned toschoolhouse, took place during the mid- the ground as the result of a fire on the roof, near the chimney.1840s. It was a log structure with one room, The teachers desk, clock, maps, charts and some books were thelocated near the corner of the 8th concession only things saved.During the next-school term classes were heldof Reach Township. at the home of Mr. James Owen. About 1856, half an acre of land, justIn September 1931 the new yellow brick school was completednorth of the log school, was bought from with its large school room, two cloakrooms, kitchen, furnaceMr. Isaac Wells, where the first frame school room and inside chemical toilets. A new picket fence was installedwas built. This neat little school was painted around the south, west and east sides of the school grounds, andyellow and it became known locally as the the old board fence was left along the north side.Yellow School. It featured a single entrance,In April 1941, maple, red oak, scotch pine and spruce treesfacing east, with three large windows along were planted around the school grounds. Electricity was alsoboth sides. Another acre was later purchased installed in the school in 1941. This work was done by Mr. Guyfrom the Wells family to enlarge the school Raines & Son, of Port Perry.property.The old board fence on the north side was replaced by wire The school was enclosed by a rustic rail fence, and in the spring of 1952 the south and east picket fencesfence on three sides and a board fence on were removed.the south side lined with maple and cedarBy the mid-1960s, Reach Township had started selling off theirtrees. old one-room schools, as newer and more modern schools began About 60 years after being constructed, to be constructed. In June 1967 schools at Utica, Manchester anda cement foundation was poured and Prospect were all sold by auction,and finally on March 9, 1968,the school was turned and placed on the the old Yellow School was sold for $7,000 at auction.foundation, now facing south. The same year,Since that time, the former yellow schoolhouse has been1916, the schools first furnace was installed, renovated and re-purposed, making it a beautiful home for aand small porch was built over the door into number of local families to this day.36FOCUS - AUGUST 2021'