Auburn School No. 1667

Auburn School, located on SE 12-16-25-W4, was established on June 29, 1907.  Directions today are: From Vulcan, go south four miles on Highway 23. Turn west on Township Road 162 for 3 miles. Turn south on Range Road 250 for 1 mile.  Latitude 50.32503, Longitude -113.30043

The school was built in 1908 by William Bowie, who lived a few miles southwest of the school. The first teacher, Laura Hunter, only taught for a couple of months and again in a few months in 1909. The first pupils included Edith and Ruth Boose; Bessie, Aida, Olive, Bud, Dora and Edna Rannels; Gomer, Polly and Carrie Chesterfield; Nellie and Hilding Olson; Minnie and Jim Carrie; Don, Joe and Cecilia Sullivan. James Roebuck was on the school board.

In those early years, Alfred Roebuck, along with A. C. Middleton and Arnold Jones served on the school board. The members on the school board were often the only ones who attended these meetings, so they were automatically elected to their offices for another term.

Early teachers were numerous and school times short as they came and went, rotating every few months between 1910 and 1915. The school was open for two months at times until in later years, full time.

The mode of travel in those days was by team and wagon or horse and buggy. Children usually walked or rode a pony to school.

The water for drinking and washing had to be carried half a mile. Therefore, no one drank or washed much. One dipper served everyone. Even so, no epidemic ever went through the school.

Excursions were often made to the coulee just behind the school, where pupils hunted wild flowers or watched small animals. Frogs, water beetles, the hillside with its carpet of green, many wild flowers, and birds’ nests. Such excitement during the spring run-off, when the water ran over the road and washed the culvert out.

The library was very small and limited. Some books remembered were “Beautiful Joe”, “Black Beauty” and “Anne of Green Gables.” There was some music and school opened each day with the Lord’s Prayer and Oh Canada.

Auburn was noted for its good entertainment. Among the theatrical enthusiasts were the Clements, Hagermans, Booses and Kosts. There were parties in the evenings and good school programs.

The school was situated on land that was purchased by Bill Munro, so it was convenient for the teacher, who boarded with the family, and his son and daughter to go to school. Other times, the teacher boarded with the Boose family.

Some of the other family names attending the school were Rench, Clark, Pederson, Saunders, Rannels, Middleton, Roebuck, Pottinger, Swanson, Hollister, Grant, Munro.

Mrs. Freda Maisey remembers of her Auburn days the lunch bucket with its hidden secrets; a piece of chicken put away; just for her, saskatoon pie maybe, lettuce and radishes right out of the hotbed. It was always so good. Once, when she was in grade one, she got the syrup bucket instead of the lunch bucket. Her teacher and some of the pupils were kind: they shared their lunch with her.

We have not found any pictures of Auburn School or its classes. If you have any photos and would be willing to share, we would like to include a copy of them in our collection of school information at the Vulcan and District Archives. You can reach us at Box 103, Vulcan, Alberta, T0L 2B0 or by email to vdhs@telus.net

More information about Auburn School may be found in “Wheat Country – a history of Vulcan and District” and “Cleverville Champion 1905 to 1970”, at the Vulcan and District Archives and from school directories (maps and driving directions) which are available at the Village of Champion Office, the Champion Pioneer Club and the Vulcan & District Museum.

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