Elgin’s beautiful red brick schoolhouse is a handsome example of a stylish schoolhouse built by a forward-looking community. In Ontario, many schools were far less prepossessing, but continued to serve young learners for many years. Many of these sturdy buildings were in use until the mid-1960s, when busing students to larger consolidated elementary schools became the norm.
Pictured above is the former Glen Smail Public School, School Section #11, now serving as a private residence. Built in 1864, it was constructed of random coursed stone. Three windows on each side lighted the interior. The dormer on the roof is a later addition. The entrance porch may be original. A date stone is set in the wall above the doorway. This stalwart little building welcomed students until 1964, providing a full century of service.
A few kilometers away stands the former Knowles School, S.S. # 18. It has also been converted to a private residence. The design of this stone schoolhouse is very similar to that of the Glen Smail school, with three windows down each side and a front entrance. It was built in 1875. The school was closed for a few years between the late 1930s and 1946, and then returned to service until 1963, when it was closed for good.