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The Closing of the Victoria

 

Victoria Schoolhouse was closed in June 1966 along with many of the one-room schoolhouses in the County.  Since Victoria School was located on the corner of the Montgomery farm, Harmon Montgomery purchased it, and over the years used it as a storage building for apple boxes and bales of hay.  In 2003, the Montgomery family donated the Schoolhouse in Harmon’s memory, to the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives.  The restoration of this century-old Schoolhouse has been a multi-step process taken on with dedication and commitment of QEMA’s Board of Directors along with the support of all levels of government and the Quinte community.

 

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Following two years of intense fundraising, QEMA moved the Victoria Schoolhouse to the grounds of the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum & Pioneer Village.  This move was not completed without many challenges.  The School could not be moved as a complete building as had been anticipated and planned.  A successful move required that the roof be detached and lifted off, in addition to the deconstruction of the four walls.  After a 5.5 kilometer trek down country roads, the Schoolhouse was rebuilt at its new home in the Village.  The old Wood Shed and Privies were moved as well to this new location.

 

 

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Restoration Begins

 

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In 2006, the restoration of the century-old schoolhouse commenced at its new location in the Pioneer Village.  QEMA was able to stabilize the structure by completing basic repairs.  All the original windows were reworked, the vestibule repaired and attached, and a rail fence installed.  The ongoing restoration project has been made possible by the generous in-kind donations of time and expertise. 

 

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In 2007, the Restoration Initiative of “Showcasing QEMA 2007 – A Shared Legacy” included installing a new ceiling and upper six courses of the walls; repairing and painting interior walls; installing hydro; insulating, and  painting the front of the building.  At the same time, a Bell Cairn was erected using the limestone from the original school foundation.  This Cairn complete with a cedar shake roof, houses the bell from # 6, North Marysburgh (Waupoos), and will continue to be a visible symbol of QEMA’s mission and vision.  Further, a plaque complete with dedications is affixed to the base of the Cairn.  The strategic direction for the restoration completed in this year focused on our responsibility and commitment to serve the community by providing public access to the Schoolhouse.

 

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Restoration in 2008 concentrated on the installation of original blackboards, globes for the lights, the exterior painting of the buildings, and a new roof for the Woodshed, while we planned for educational programs that would connect present day experiences with the educational life of yesteryear. 

 

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2009 witnessed the installation of a maple floor and platform at the front of the room.  In addition, the original flag pole was installed and now the Union Jack proudly flies as it would have in 1904, the year this old Schoolhouse was built.  Additional work on the exterior of the Schoolhouse will be completed in 2010.

 

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The Victoria Schoolhouse is one of a limited number of one-room schools in Ontario restored for the educational use of students and the public.  This little one-room Schoolhouse, once the social centre and pride of the Victoria community provides an excellent learning environment with some of the artifacts on display being well over 100 years, thus providing an opportunity for students and tourists of all ages to experience the ‘good old days’ of the one-room schoolhouse. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Preserving Educational History for Future Generations'

© 2012 Quinte Educational Museum and Archives, Inc