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The Porcupine Mining Camp’s first schools

Schools in Timmins open for the new year next Tuesday, August 30th.  So we’ll spend the next two Mondays’ local history feature, talking about the first institutions of learning in the Porcupine Mining Camp.

Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann says in 1911, classes were held in halls, amusement parlours and the basements of businesses.

The first school in Porcupine opened the following year, as chronicled by John Campsall, a local historian in the 1970s.

“We learned reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, and we all had chores to do,” says Bachmann. “The girls would sweep out the school, the boys would make sure that the potbelly stove was always full of firewood.”

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Students in the one-room school spoke only when spoken to.

“What is now the Scout Hall on Legion Dr. was actually one of the original schools that was in South Porcupine,” Bachmann continues. “Schumacher had theirs that opened where St. Alphonsus Church is, and that’s their first little school.”

Next week: the first schools right in Timmins.



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