The Class of ’85

School house at Portaupique Mountain. -Heather Dau Collection

It never took long for pioneer communities to establish some kind of school. Even as far-sighted surveyors laid out townships, they allowed for a school and school master, a meeting house and minister.

The first classes were usually held in a family’s home and the curriculum suited the needs of the time. Reading, writing and sums were basic. The Classics were not required but Navigation was, at least in rural Nova Scotia of the 1880s.1

A school house at Portaupique Mountain first appeared in 1885. Mr. J.L. Corbett was the teacher and 107 pupils attended that year.

Among them are these names of Cook scholars:

Clarence Cook
Charles Cook
Sarah Cook
Beveridge Cook
Rebecca Cook
Leander Cook
Annie J. Cook
Joseph Cook
David N. Cook
Charles H. Cook
David Cook
John Cook
Pine Grove School

In September 1914, the large class of Pine Grove School met outside for their class picture. Pine Grove was close to the intersection of Old Gays River Road and Cooks Mill Road. –Cheryl Kellett Collection

1. Education in Bass River by Ward Hemeon, 1987
A wider consideration of schooling in early Cobequid, may be found in chapter ten on education, Necessaries and Sufficiencies, Planter Society in Londonderry, Onslow and Truro Townships, 1761-1780, by Carol Campbell and James F. Smith, 2011, Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, NS.
Nova Scotia School Records, Colchester, 1821, 1828, Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia,