Fairview Historical Society Articles Archives

Earlier Schools in the Fairview and Surrounding Areas up to The Present Day

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

Three Mile House School

The Three Mile House School, also known as St. John’s School, started in 1840. The school was located in St. John’s Church Hall because there was no actual school building as such. The hall stood in front of St. John’s Anglican Church (also known as Three Mile Church built in1841). The church stood in St. John’s Cemetery, near the Fairview Overpass.

The school was opened by the Colonial and Continental Church Society from England. Attendance was a problem, as farm work and bad weather often kept the children at home.

Without the aid received from the Colonial Church Society, a permanent school would not have functioned at Three Mile House School. The school had several grades and only one teacher to teach all the pupils. Rev. Robert Fitzgerald Uniacke was in charge of the Three Mile School. He appointed Mr. Thomas Wilson to teach there in 1848 as the Catechist and School Master.
Mr. Wilson taught there until his death in 1851, leaving a wife and six children.

In 1853 Mr. R. Payne was the teacher there. In 1854 Miss Parker was the teacher, she was sent to replace Mr. Payne. She conducted the Society School at Nine Mile House prior to this. She taught twenty to twenty-five pupils at the school at that time.

In 1855 Miss M. Hamilton, who was trained at the Society’s Training and Model School, took over when Miss Parker died. By that time there were sixty pupils. The average daily attendance was forty pupils. They were given daily instructions on the word of God. They were also taught history, grammar, geography and arithmetic.

In 1862 Miss Geizer was the teacher there. In 1866 Rev. Robert Uniacke, who was in charge of the school since its inception, taught at the school. He died in 1870 and is buried in St. John’s Cemetery. William Jackson then became the principal in 1869 and 1870. Today both St. John’s Church and St. John’s Hall have been demolished. A Columbarium now stands on the site of the old church.

The Cogswell School

In 1856 there was a school at the head of the Arm, at a place called “Westburn”, now known as Armdale. The school was located where St. James Church is today on Joseph Howe Drive (formerly Dutch Village Road).

The school was known as The Cogswell School because it was started by Dr. Chas. Cogswell. Miss Leppert was the teacher there for many years. Later the school building was enlarged, had a steeple added and became the present St. Jame’s Church. The Cogswell School was succeeded by a school kept by the Widow of Chas. O. Hosterman. Her classes met in Bethany Church, also at the head of the Northwest Arm. The Cogswell School and the Three Mile School consolidated in 1872 to form the Dutch Village School, located on Dutch Village Road in Fairview.

Armdale Junior High School

Later to be known as Springvale Elementary School on Downs Avenue.The school opened around 1956 and was located in Armdale.

Only students attending grades seven and eight went to the school. Karl W. Perry was the principal until June 1960, when he accepted a new appointment as Superintendent of the Armdale District Schools. John Billard became the principal with Robert Adams as vice-principal.

Lorne White was the gym teacher in the 1960s. The Year Book for the school was called “The Eagle”.Students from Fairview had to attend Armdale Junior High because there was no public junior high school in Fairview at that time. Fairview had a Junior High School on Main Avenue in 1945 for a short while until the school was needed for elementary grades only. Also in the early 1960 St. Pius X School, a Catholic School, taught from grades four to eight, later grade nine was added.

Student from Fairview had to walk to Armdale Junior High School, there were no school buses to take them. Students that lived further away, such as Purcell’s Cove, Portugueses Cove, and Tantallon, had school buses to take them to and from the school.
Most students from Fairview walked along the railway tracks (today the tracks have been remove, it is now a walking trail) in front of Ashburn Golf Club and then walk up a hill, to the Jr. high school which was completely surrounded by woods at that time.

While walking the railway-tracks, the students had to listen for the train whistle, which alerted them that a train was coming. On hearing the whistle they would jump off the tracks; sometimes that would mean having to jump over a steep embankment to get out of the way. At times, members of the railway work-crew, manning a flat-bed on wheels would quietly sneak up behind them on the track to scare them, once they jumped off the track, the workers continued on their way, laughing hysterically.
Mr. Kendall was the custodian there for many years and was fondly remembered by the students.

The Dutch Village School

The School was located on Dutch Village Road in Fairview. In 1872, the Three Mile School and the Cogswell School consolidated to form the Dutch Village School.

The Dutch Village School was located next to St. Lawrence Church,(today St. Lawrence Place stands where the old church once stood) later the school building became Pete Henderson’s Store. The school building is no longer there, a Day Care Centre called “The Children’s Garden Day Care” stands on the site.

The school operated until 1918. Katherine (Murray) Deal taught at The Dutch Village School for many years. She was the wife of
Harry Deal and they lived at the corner of Dutch Village Road and Bayers Road; today a Shoppers Drug Mart stands on the site of their old homestead.

The school hours ran from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. and Mrs. Deal’s salary was $120.00 a year. There were no examinations and no distinct grades. Certain books, numbered one to seven had to be covered in seven years. A bright student could set his own pace and cover as many books in one year as he was capable of. The seven years could be completed in much less time if the student chose to do so.

Among Mrs. Deal’s forty to fifty pupils was William D. Piercey, a prominent Halifax business man, who was born in the Dutch Village (Fairview). William donated land to Fairview to be used as a recreational area located on Frederick Avenue and called the “W.D. Piercey Sports Field”. Pete Henderson’s Store, the former Dutch Village School building was torn down in 1964.
Maryville School also known as St. John’s Roman Catholic School The school was located at the corner of Mumford Road and Dutch Village Road (today known as Joseph Howe Drive), near Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

The Maryville School

The school which opened in 1873, was a private Catholic School run by the Sisters of Charity. In 1875, Maryville School became a public Catholic School A two room public school was added to the east side end of what the first Catholic Church in the Dutch Village, called St. John the Baptist. The school started out with just one classroom but due to overcrowding, a second room was added to the building a few years later.

Sister Felix Kelly, held the duties of superior, cook and teacher. Sister Pius Devine also taught there for several years and was an exceptional teacher. The two Sisters conducted well attended classes for neighbouring children including some Mi’Kmaq children. The school closed in 1909, when Oxford Street School opened and the children were transferred there. On April 23, 1928, the building that housed Maryville School was destroyed by fire.

The Dutch Village School also known as Central Armdale School

The school was built around 1920, on School Avenue in Fairview. This was a two roomed school house known over the years either as the Dutch Village School or as the Central Armdale School. The name differs based on the year; both these names apply to this school. To verify the name difference, old City Directory gives two different names for the same school, depending on the year you are looking for.

The noted singer Hank Snow’s wife Minnie Aalders attended this school. The Aalders were a well-known Fairview family who lived on the bottom of Main Avenue. The school was demolished when the Bicenntenial Highway was built, and opened in 1958.

The Fairview School

The school was built in 1934 on the Duke of Kent Street, today known as Main Avenue in Fairview.

It burnt down on Feb. 11, 1944.The school was an elementary school from grades primary to grade six.

Fairview Junior High School – Fairview School

The second school was called Fairview Junior High School and was built in 1945, on the same site as the first school in Fairview.

When it was built, it was said to be the most modern school building in the rural district of Nova Scotia. The two storey structure of brick and tile had all of the newest equipment. It was built to accommodate 250 to 300 pupils. It had a domestic science room and a manual training workshop.

The auditorium had high ceilings, high enough for the game of basketball to be played. The school also served as both an elementary school and a junior high school until it became so over crowded that the junior high grades had to move to another school then it became known as Fairview School.

Mr. Taylor was the custodian there for many years and was well liked by all the students. The name of the school changed to Titus Smith School in later years. It closed in the early 1990s and was later demolished. Today an apartment building stands on the site called Jacob’s Manor.

Central Armdale School- Renamed Burton Ettinger School

Today known as Ecole Burton Ettinger School, Central Armdale School opened in 1951 on Alex Street in Fairview.

The first building was constructed in 1951 and a second separate building was built in 1960. These two buildings were renovated and linked by a two-story walkway in 1985, and a new gymnasium, elevator, library, and office area were added.

In 1969 when Fairview amalgamated with Halifax, the school was renamed Burton Ettinger School after a former, well-loved custodian named Burton Ettinger. In 1981, the school became Ecole Burton Ettinger School when it became a dual-track English and French Immersion facility.

South Armdale School

The school was located at the junction of the Purcell’s Cove Road and Herring Cove Road, across from Chocolate Lake.

There was no high school in Fairview prior to 1958 that was when Halifax West Municipal High School was built in Fairview, so the students from the area attended the high school at South Armdale School.

In 1949 the school had grades 10,11 and 12. In 1956 the school had 250 students. Frank Mitchell and his brother Bill both attended high school there, Frank told me that South Armdale had perhaps three buildings, one was the high school and the other two housed grades Primary to grades nine.

The high school Principal was Douglas Henry Rodwell, two other teachers that taught there were Lorne White and Ms Barton.
There were no school buses for the students of Fairview, walking to and from school five days a week was the norm in those days. Today the former South Armdale school building is no longer a school, it is now a recreation centre called the Chocolate Lake Community Recreation Centre.

Halifax West Municipal High School

In 1958 the school was constructed on the old Keeler Farm (formerly known as the Deal Farm) on Dutch Village Road in Fairview.

When the school first opened it taught grades nine to twelve. It was a thirty-six academic class school, which could accommodate 1,200 students. The first year Geoffrey Moore was the principal.

Students from Fall River and Windsor Junction attended Halifax West from 1958-60. The students were transported by the first school bus in this area driven, by William Wyatt of Fall River. In 1960 a new high school was built in Bedford to take the students from grades nine to twelve. This school was named Sidney Stephen High School.

The Halifax West buses made twenty-nine trips on the morning run and a similar number in the afternoon at the end of classes. There was a large garage, on the school property, which housed the buses. Many of the West’s students were bused in every day from the out lining areas such as Purcell’s Cove, Terrance Bay, Rockingham, Peggy’s Cove, Spryfield, St. Margaret’s Bay Road, and Hubbards as it was the only Municipality High School around.

Mr. Karl Perry and Mr. Knickle , were two Principals that were both liked and respected. “The Torch” was the school crest, which represented (light the way with learning), the purpose of the school is for the students to receive understanding though learning thus light the way towards a better knowledge and a perception of light. The school’s yearbook was also called “The Torch”.

In 1969 when the Fairview area was annexed to the city of Halifax the school dropped the Municipal from the school name, now it was called Halifax West High School. In the late 1990s, the students and teachers started to get sick as a result of poor air quality and had to finish the year at other schools before a new school was built. Halifax West on Dutch Village Road closed in 2000. Today a building complex called the Boss Plaza stands on the site.
The new Halifax West opened in 2003 on Thomas Raddall Drive in Clayton Park.

Our Hero from Halifax West High School

In 1966, Barbara Dorrington was a student, at Halifax West in Fairview. She had been a student at the school for three years and during that time she made many friends and was well liked by all. When her home in Beechville caught fire one night, she tried to save her younger siblings and almost made it to the door but was over-come. Barbara made the supreme sacrifice, for in trying to save the lives of her siblings, she gave her own. Such was the bravery and character of Barbara, she will be remembered.

St. Pius X School – Fairview Heights Annex

The school was located on Coronation Avenue in Fairview.

St. Pius X School opened in 1960 by the Sisters of Charity. The building was used both as a school and a church. St. Pius X Church was not built until some years later.

The school accommodated 220 pupils and had six classrooms, five of which were used the first term. Grades four to eight were taught by Sisters of Charity teachers, later grade nine was included. Sister Maurian was the principal.

After several years as a Catholic School, it became Fairview Heights Annex, a public school in 1969; when the Fairview area was annexed to the city of Halifax and the city bought the school from the Catholic Church. Fairview Heights Annex was then used for upper elementary grades and junior high students. When the new Junior High School was built in 1973, Fairview Heights Annex then only had lower grade classes.

Fairview Heights School

The school was located at the top of Coronation Avenue in Fairview and was opened in 1967.

Mr. Scott Cameron was the first principal of the school and in 1968 Mr. Stone became the principal. The school consisted of fourteen classrooms but was over-crowded from the beginning with two grade primary classes having forty students in each class. A third class was started with three teachers working split shifts. Within three years a portable classroom was needed and by 1973, the school was so over-crowded that grades primary, one and two moved to Fairview Heights Annex Building.

Fairview Junior High School

The Junior High School is located at the top of Rosedale Avenue in Fairview and it opened in 1973.

Student in grades seven, eight and nine attend classes at the school. Today the Junior High School is a dual-track English and French Immersion Facility.

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