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Committee keeping the story of Guelph Township's historic schools alive through new book

The idea for writing the historical book came from 90-year-old Marion Campbell

GUELPH-ERAMOSA TOWNSHIP – A committee is dedicated to keeping the story of country schoolhouses alive through a new historical book. 

The Nine Public Schools of Guelph Township takes a dive into the one-room schools that used to be commonplace the former township which is now part of Guelph/Eramosa. 

The majority of these township schools were built between 1864 and 1891 with a majority closing in the 60s. 

The book was written by a group who are on the Guelph Township public schools reunion committee of: Joyce Blyth, Nancy Dickieson, Barbara Leachman, Ruth Robinson and Campbell.

Some of these members are former students but the original idea came from Campbell.

Campbell is a 90-year-old Marden resident who has lived in Wellington County for her whole life. She has collected vast amounts of information which has become the basis for the book. 

Campbell said in a phone interview she didn’t go to any of the schools herself but her husband went to S.S. #5 and her children went to Marden School.

“I worked on committees there for school dances and so on, just took my place in the community,” Campbell said.

As an artist, Campbell drew each of the school houses for this collection, on top of other sketches that demonstrate the growing additions added to some of the schools. 

Campbell couldn’t really say why she developed such an interest in this topic except it just sort of “fell into place” through working on the committee.

She does love the vast history of the buildings, how they were made and the people who at one time would have called them their schools

“They’ve stood up over the years, they’ve been made into homes, businesses or even a church,” Campbell said. 

This book is a collection of historical photos of the buildings and classes alongside written history and stories about the schools. 

Campbell has been busy taking orders before the printing deadline, with some former Guelph Township students calling from provinces away but also just some locals interested in learning more. 

“People are interested in history, I figure that’s what’s selling some of them,” Campbell said. 

Copies can be pre-ordered until Friday Nov. 5 by contacting through email or calling 519-822-2789.


Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for Elora, Fergus and rural Centre Wellington.
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