Institute Of Higher Learning

My home-town of Southampton, Ontario, rises up from the shore of Lake Huron.  Even 50 feet above the lake, at the top of the hill, where my 1850 birth-home still sits, the water table is not far beneath the ground.  It, and many other residences and commercial buildings are landscaped upwards, and still have shallow basements.  Ours would have fit Frodo Baggins.

What is now a wing of the Bruce County Historical Museum, was once my six-room, brick, elementary school.  It perches on the bank of a pond behind it, twenty feet above the water, but its feet are still wet.  To enter the front door required a climb up ten concrete steps to a small landing, then another step up, into a tiny atrium, and yet another step up, onto the main floor.

This upward architecture was not chosen to allow sunlight in through basement windows.  There were none.  Boys played on one side, girls on the other.  There were three steps up to get in either side door, and you still entered on the landing of the basement stairway.

Stairs, stairs, stairs – and more stairs.  😯  The ceilings were 12 feet high.  There were no elevators or escalators.  There was no accommodation for handicapped students.  You had to be physically fit to attend school.  When the student body at this school got high…. It wasn’t at 4:20, because weed was what you pulled out of your mother’s gardens.   😉

11 thoughts on “Institute Of Higher Learning

  1. johnlmalone says:

    thanks for this little ‘dip’ into history; I grew up in similar times though in Oz —


  2. Garfield Hug says:

    I marvel at educational institutions still keeping its old buildings. I just did a post on people tearing down buildings to rebuild. I remember being a student at University of Oregon 1852 and the old buildings still in good shape and surrounded by new ones. Thanks for sharing about your old elementary school. Mine has become dust!


    • Archon's Den says:

      For over 20 years, this building was the entire museum, but continued acquisitions finally overcrowded it. A Federal Government, Arts and Culture Construction Grant doomed the adjacent and almost identical Secondary School building, to erect the new Museum portion.
      It was sadly under-used. A stained-glass maker rented one large classroom as a workshop, and the Boy Scout troop met in the tiny gymnasium in the hunchback basement – far too low for basketball or volleyball. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rivergirl says:

    I had a similar elementary school growing up. Stairs, stairs, stairs. You didn’t need gym class with all that climbing.


  4. Danny James says:

    How things change!


    • Archon's Den says:

      Much of Western civilization now seems geared to the lowest common denominator. All well and good – but, those who need a little challenge, often do not get it. 😳


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