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  • Ontario, Canada

S.S. No. 4 LaPasse Public School

This school was located at the northwest corner at the intersection of Gore Line and Lacroix Road at Gower Point, later named LaPasse, Ontario. From the Westmeath Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Book, we have this item which explains that the first school was made of logs and built in the 1870s, replaced by the new red brick S.S. No. 4 schoolhouse built in 1895:

The LaPasse public school S.S. No. 4 was built in the year 1895, was of stone foundation and brick veneer and is situated on land owned at that time by ____. The contract was given to Noah Burnette of Westmeath for the sum of $800. He hired Eustace Gratton as his helper and before his contract was finished, he had taken on other contracts and left Mr. Gratton to finish the school. This was the first contract work Mr. Gratton had done by himself. This was not the first school at LaPasse. The first one, a log one, was built above LaPasse on the property where Aurley Gervais now lives. On this property has been since built a sawmill, owned and run by Mr. Amos Bonell. After he finished sawing, his mill was moved away. There was a cheese factory built and it was destroyed by fire, where a child and a man almost lost their lives. In 1890 there was a blacksmith shop owned and operated by Euchere Lacroix. Teachers who taught in this early school were: Miss Eleanore Boreau, Miss Magor, Mr. Dagauais, Mr. Ryan. Some of the pupils attending were: Mrs. Louis Gervais, Mr. Hector Gervais, and Adelaine Lamarche. This school was built in the 1870s and in 1895 the brick school was built and served the LaPassse community till it was decided to build a Separate School. Then the public school was closed.

Compiled by Mrs. C.J. McMullen for the Tweedsmuir Book.

Viola “Vi” Gervais Lefebvre’s rendering, painted in 1979, clearly shows this little red schoolhouse that only served the LaPasse community for one generation, from 1895 to 1915. Thank you to Marion Dougherty Leblanc for the use of the picture in this entry.
Do you recognize anyone in this picture? It came without a caption. Help needed please, to name the teacher and her ten students.

Evelyn Moore Price in her 1984 book “The History of the Corporation of Westmeath Township” summarizes this school in this excerpt: