Activities at School and Home
"... ...So we played that way in the winter time. And then in the summer time we went to school why we played generally at recess and noon hour. We’d play ball, something like hard ball. We'd start playing ball in the spring of the year and we’d play right through until vacation time and in the fall we’d play through until about, oh, maybe the first of October and then it would be too cold and we didn’t play any more ball.
But the teachers always made us on that day we had in May - we called it Arbour Day - she’d make us come to school that holiday and we’d have to clean up the school grounds, and rake them all up and cut the bushes our around by the edge of the school grounds. And the girls would have to go to work inside and they would have to scrub the walls and the floors and the ceilings and the desks in the school. We only had about 30 children went to our school, it was a little school out in the back woods. We’d clean the school yard all up and when we got the school yard cleaned up - we had to wash the windows outside, the girls washed them inside - well then we could play ball. So we’d play ball until noon and then go home and get our dinner and in the afternoon we’d go back on the school ground and we'd play ball until about half past three and we had to go home then and do our chores.
Well on the 24th of May, that was the Queen’s birthday, we always had a holiday then and the teacher, if the day did not come on a Sunday or Saturday, the teacher would always take the whole school kids down to Grand Lake. Oh it was about, oh, a half mile from home - there was a road down to the lake - and she’d take us down there on a picnic. And we’d go down there - and the men had some places cut out where they used to fish - and we’d go down and the girls would go to work and they’d get the tables set up and they’d get us our dinners and things ready. And us boys we’d be out fishing. Well those days there were lots of fish in the lake and we could catch maybe 12, 14, 16 trout apiece and they’d be trout about 10 inches, a foot, long, something like that. Well at noontime why the girls and the teacher they’d fry the trout for dinner and we’d have a feed of trout for dinner. And what we caught in the afternoon why we’d bring home at night, each one would take those home with him. So then when it came vacation time - the school stopped about , oh, the 23rd of June – why we’d go home. We had work to do at home. We had to look after the gardens, we had to look after the cattle - my father worked away - and we had they haying to do and when we was kids we had to pull the weeds out of the garden. So we grew up kind of tough and hard that way.
And when we went to school we had a lot of different school books than you have today and each one of our school books - when we were younger in Grade 1, 2, 3, 4 - there was a lot of pictures in the school books and those pictures would tell about the story that you were reading about. And there was a lot of poems in the school books and we had to learn the poems so we could recite them off. And in our school room we had from Grade Primmer, they called it, up to Grade 9, and after you got to Grade 9 you had to go to Bear River school. So we grew up like that and we had to work at home and go to school. Night times about, oh, half past eight why we had to study our lessons over. Well then nine o’clock we had to go to bed. And then in the morning we had to get up around maybe, oh, half past five, six o’clock. We had about fifteen head of cattle and we had pigs and we had chickens and hens and calves and we had to get up early in the morning and do all those chores before went to school. We had to carry water - we didn’t have running water in the house, we had a well down in the field - and we had to carry water in pails and kettles and get enough water to last Mother all day. And if she was gonna put out a wash why we had to carry the extra water for her to wash clothes with. And then we get done maybe half past eight in the morning and we’d go to school and play ball, or what ever time of year it was, we’d play games til school went in and that’s the way we got along. ... ..."