Writing History Seymour School

Township was first surveyed in 1819 and later in 1833

TRENT RIVER. - The Township of Seymour was first surveyed in 1819 and again in 1833. The original settlers came from Cobourg under the leadership of Major Campbell who took up about 400 acres of land.

Michael Van Volkenburg, one of early settlers, settled on the twelfth concession about 1852. Apparently up to that time there was no school section organized in that area. Among other early settlers were the families of Lawson, Gibson, Thompson, Nelson Wood, Killbank, R. Nixon, Launt, Stacey, Carnrite. Many of these families came from Prince Edward County and were of U.E. Loyalist descent.

The first trustees of whom there is record are M. Van Volkenburg. James Thompson, Frank Lee. The area of land set aside to be known as S.S. 10. Seymour was north of concession 12, running west to the present highway 30 to the Percy township line, north to the Trent River and east of highway 30 to easterly limits of a property then occupied by James Thompson, then north-easterly to the river Trent after which the line came out to the fourteenth concession line to include property as far east as the present Scea property (near Mud Lake) and as far north as the boundary between Seymour and Belmont.

First School

The first school was a log building on the corner of Nelson Wood’s farm, used both as church and school. Just when this was built is unknown. Some of the early teachers were Misses Jennie Patterson, Margaret Elliott, Armour, Mr. Henry Pollock, and George Spencer.

The present brick school was built on the farm now owned by H. B. Wood. The deed for this property was given by and at present is in the possession of Mr. George Van Volkenburg. The school was built on a side hill where rocks and stones predominated. The grounds were half an acre in extent and quite unattractive. During the succeeding years few shade trees were planted. The building was enlarged by the addition of about six feet at the west end.

During these years the course of study changed to include arithmetic, reading, writing, geography, history, written reading, physiology, spelling and drawing. During more recent times school fairs and the study of agriculture have been introduced. Seven years ago (1930) music was introduced once a week under the instruction of A. Hazel. The same year public speaking was taught the pupils. This movement was sponsored by the Trustees and Ratepayers Association.

Six years ago the section decided to add to the school grounds and land immediately to the north of the school was purchased. An old fashioned bee for the purpose of clearing the grounds was held on Arbor Day at which approximately twenty-five men and five teams were present. During the day the stone was removed and a fence erected. While there was still plenty of enthusiasm the woodshed which had been at the front of the yard as, an eyesore, was removed to the rear.

In 1936 an extra piece of ground was taken into provide for a school garden. In 1937 (March) the trustees had the school wired and the present teacher, R.W. Umphrey, and pupils now enjoy the use of electric lights.

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