By Devonna Edwards, Columnist
Three Mile House School also known as St. John’s School
The first school in the Fairview area was in St. John’s Church Hall and it was started in 1840. The school was known as Three Mile House School and also as St. John’s School. The hall where school was held stood in front of St. John’s Anglican Church (also known as Three Mile Church built in 1841). The church stood in St. John’s Cemetery, near the Fairview Overpass. The area was considered part of the Dutch Village (Fairview) at that time. The Colonial and Continental Church Society from England opened the school.
Attendance was a problem, as farm work and severe weather often kept the children at home.
Without the aid received from the Colonial Church Society, a permanent school would not have functioned at Three Mile House School. The school had several grades and only one teacher to teach all the pupils. Rev. Robert Fitzgerald Uniacke oversaw the school, and he appointed Mr. Thomas Wilson to teach there in 1848 as the Catechist and School Master. At that time there were 20-25 pupils at the school but by 1855 there were sixty pupils. The school closed in 1872. Today both St. John’s Church and St. John’s Hall have been demolished.
In 1856 there was a school at the Northwest Arm called the Cogswell School located where St. James Church is today on Joseph Howe Drive (formerly known as Dutch Village Road). Dr. Chas. Cogswell and Ms. Leppert started it was the teacher there for many years. In 1872 the Cogswell School and the Three Mile House School consolidated to form the Dutch Village School on Dutch Village Road.
The Dutch Village School
The second school in Fairview was called The Dutch Village School and was located on the east side of Dutch Village Road. Today that site’s location is next to St. Lawrence Place on Dutch Village Road.
The Dutch Village School opened in 1872 and closed in 1918. Katherine (Kate) Deal taught at the school for many years. During the time she taught there, the school hours ran from 9 A.M to 4 P.M. and her salary was $120.00 a year. There were no examinations and no distinct grades. Certain books numbered one to seven had to be finished in seven years. The seven years could be completed in much less time if the student chose to do so. Forty to fifty pupils attended the school. After the school closed in 1918 the building was taken over by Pete Henderson who ran a store there for many years. In 1964 the building was demolished, and Pete built a new building on the site and continued his business there for several years after. Today a day care stands on the former site.
Central Armdale School also known as The Dutch Village School
The third school in Fairview was built around 1920 on School Avenue. This was a two roomed schoolhouse known over the years either as Central Armdale School or The Dutch Village School. To verify the name difference, old City Directories gives two different names for the same school, depending on the year you are looking for. The noted singer Hank Snow’s wife Minnie Aalders attended this school. The Aalders was a well-known Fairview family who lived at the bottom of Main Avenue.
The school was demolished when the Bicenntenial Highway was built in 1958.
The fourth school built in Fairview was called Fairview School, it was located on the Duke of Kent Street now known as Main Avenue.
The school built in 1934 was an elementary school from grades primary to grade six. The school burnt down on Feb. 11, 1944.
In 1945, a new school was built on the same site and was called Fairview Junior High School.
When it was built it was said to be the most modern school building in the rural district of Nova Scotia.
The two-storey structure of brick and tile had all the newest equipment. It was built to accommodate 250 to 300 pupils.
The school served as both an elementary school and a junior high school until it became so overcrowded that the junior high grades had to move to another school (Bloomfield School on Agricola Street) then the school became known as Fairview School.
The name of the school changed to Titus Smith School in later years, and it closed in the early 1990s and was later demolished. Today an apartment building stands on the site called Jacob’ Manor.
Maryville School also known as St. John’s Roman Catholic School
Located on the corner of Mumford Road and Dutch Village Road (today known as Joseph Howe Drive), near Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Although not located in the Fairview area, some Catholic families from Fairview attended the school. The school which opened in 1873, was a private Catholic school run by the Sisters of Charity. In 1875 the school became a public Catholic school. The school started out with just one classroom but due to overcrowding, a two-room public school was added to the east side of what was the first Catholic Church in the Dutch Village, called St. John the Baptist. Sister Felix Kelly and Sister Pius Devine taught there and conducted well attendant classes for neighbouring children including some Mi’Kmaq children. The school closed in 1909 when Oxford Street School opened, and the children were transferred there. On April 23, 1928, the building that housed Maryville School was destroyed by fire.
For further information on this article, please visit the Fairview Historical Society website at www.fairviewhistoricalsociety.ca