This little school house stands against the elements in Lower Bedeque, Prince Edward Island. On this cold winter day, with the wind attempting to freeze our brains, it is hard to imagine the time when this school opened in 1886.
We think about the children walking to school from the area farms, or horse and cart pulling up to drop off neighbourhood children. The little one room school opened its doors to all ages as was common at the time.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, an island author, taught in this school in 1897 for six months. She left to care for her grandmother after her grandfather died. Lucy Maud never taught again.
However, it was an interesting time in her life. Lucy Maud was engaged when she moved to Lower Bedeque. During her time there, she met a man described as "the love of her life." Herman Leard was one of two sons of the family where she boarded, near the school. Nothing came of the relationship; Lucy Maud left and Herman died the next year.
As my husband and I observed the little school this day, we talked of the school where he taught in 1975-76. His post was in Grand Bruit, Newfoundland, an isolated community on the island's south coast, only accessible by coastal boat.
Grand Bruit, Newfoundland. School, center back. Photo by Don Bradshaw
He taught everything from Kindergarten to Grade 8 to nine children in the community. The children left home to do high school further along the coast, in a community connected by road to the rest of the island. Today Grand Bruit is abandoned and the people resettled elsewhere in Newfoundland.
We were engaged during that year as he worked in his sole charge school. The next year he was offered a job in the school where I worked and we were married. The rest is our family history.
On this cold winter day, a little school in Prince Edward Island stirred up warm memories of young love which has matured and grown with time.
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your special one!