Althorpe School House S.S. #6, aka Tysick School

Althorpe School House S.S. #6 “Tysick School”

The hamlet of Althorpe officially came into existence when a post office was established in 1877 in the home of A. H. Norris. The post office and store served the farmers around Farren Lake, who were subsistent and added food to their kitchen table from their fishing and hunting abilities, and from their gardens, and the wild edibles in season.

As the hamlet progressed, Althorpe was served by a cheese factory, which does not exist anymore. We know that education became important to families through the existence of four other one-room schoolhouses in the area, at various times. The history of the Tysick School probably starts in 1916; as that is the date of our earliest administrative record when we see Ida & R.W. Tysick deeding a part of the lot to the School Board’.

School builder Nicholas Lennon signed and dated one of the building planks

Nicholas Lennon built the school, and as you can see here on the right, he has signed one of the planks in the building. He wrote: Nicholas Lennon, November 30th, 1916.

This may have been the day he installed that board or the date he finished the schoolhouse.1, 2

This next picture is what the schoolhouse looks like today.3

A drive-by view of the schoolhouse most recently

The following article appeared in the Perth Courier dated September 23, 1921: “The trustees of S. S. No. 6 have lately invested in a new flagpole, thirty feet high, and a flag which makes quite an additional improvement to the appearance of the schoolyard. Mr. R. Tysick who erected the flagpole has also been given the contract for the building of a new woodshed this fall, all of which is progress for No. 6.”  Mrs. Horrocks was the teacher.

Public Meeting in the Schhoolhouse
Meeting announcement

Since local schools were sometimes the only public building in the area, they were used for more than just education.  On November 28, 1921, the Honourable J. A. Stewart was holding a public meeting at this schoolhouse. It appears he was campaigning for an election that would occur the following week. His advertisement reads “A cordial invitation is extended to every elector including the ladies. God save the King. 4

In 1922 the school class consisted of seven children from three different families: Tysick, Fournier, and Dowdell. The teacher was Mrs. Horrocks.

The summer of 1922 saw the cleaning of the schoolhouse and its woodshed which included a coat of paint; the work completed by Mr. S. Renaud. Mrs. Horricks passed her examination in an agricultural course that she took during the summer, and returned to this school with new aspirations.  School resumed on September 15.. 5

Mrs. Horrocks

The school was suspended during week 2 March in 1923 because poor Mrs. Horrocks slipped and fell on the schoolhouse steps and sprained her ankle. Luckily, the steps were of wood.  Had they been of stone on cement, she may have hurt herself further. However, a railing might have broken her fall! W.F. Michell was the school inspector for the County, and building inspectors for townships were not popular until later on6 Right: A blurry picture of Mrs. Horrocks.

Students with the teacher on the school steps, Tysick family barn in the background

In 1953 the school had children from only four families in attendance: Tysick’s, Fournier’s, Noonan’s, and Norris. The teacher was Betty Miller. In this picture, you can see the Tysick barn in the background.7

The school was no longer used as a school beginning in 1956.8   It remained in the possession of the School Board until 1968 when it was sold to Joseph Thomson.

present owners Mr. & Mrs. Crawford

Nov 10, 2020 – Presentation Day – In this photo, we see the present owners Mr. & Mrs. Crawford holding their Tay Valley Heritage Properties plaque and certificate.

The Crawfords are eager to preserve our cultural heritage.  Photo by David Zimmerly.

Writer of this article: Karen Prytula

1 Photo by Randy & Tammy Crawford
2 David Taylor research, land abstract
3. Google Maps
4, 5, 6 Perth Courier
7, 8 South Sherbrook School Book

© Lanark County Genealogical Society 2022

Leave a Reply