"We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly"

Current News

Welcome to our website!

news The Friends of the Schoolhouse web site will keep you informed about The Old Britannia Schoolhouse and the activities and events planned by the Friends' organization. We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly.

Open Sunday
May 14, 1 to 4pm
Spring Means Work in the Garden

Just like the early settlers, our volunteers are busy in our Victorian gardens. See what spring flowers are growing. Can you name them? Are there any birds, butterflies and insects making their home in our garden? Take a moment to sit and enjoy nature in Ben's Corner. Make a pinwheel to play with on a windy spring day. Put one in your garden bed for a decoration.

Decorate a pot and fill it with a plant for Mothers' Day

Mothers love to receive something you have made for them. They appreciate the extra effort and love that goes with the time spent creating something special, no matter how small or simple. Handmade gifts were often the only ones available in small rural Victorian communities with little access to stores. Here are the directions for an easy springtime gift that should please any mother.
You will need:

Create a design on the terracotta pot with the acrylic paint. Let paint dry. Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot to keep the soil from falling through the hole in the bottom of the pot. Add potting soil and the plant. Water if necessary.

Confederation 150 Trivia
May 1867

May 7 Samuel Stevens Belleville Made improvements to the cheese vat
Thomas Forfar East Flambourgh, Wentworth Country Carpenter invented a better churn he named the Dairy Churn
Robert Barclay Paris Made an improvement in the sewing machine
May 17 Louis Labouglie Montreal Improved the method of purifying ores
May 18 Frederick Cook Oil Springs Improved the apparatus for burning petroleum and fluids produced from it
George Harding Toronto Invented improvements to traps for water closets and slop closets for use in jails, hospitals and other public institutions
May 3 Hudson's Bay Co. Gives up all claims to Vancouver Island
May 26 Born: Mary of Teck, wife of King George V of the United Kingdom

Canadian Oil

In the May 1867 Trivia, you noticed a mention of Frederick Cook of Oil Springs. Ontario, and his improved apparatus for burning petroleum. Nine years before Confederation, in 1858, oil was discovered in Oil Springs and the first commercial oil well in North America was established by James Miller Williams. A visit to Oil Springs would be a good way to celebrate Canada 150.

Time to Renew Your Membership

Our membership year runs from January to December. Membership forms for renewal or new membership are on this website. Click here to get the form.

Echoes of the Past

This book, written and published by Friends of the Schoolhouse, documents the history of all of the rural one room schools that existed in Peel County.
Full colour, 208 pages, $30
It is available at all our events or from any member of the Friends of the Schoolhouse Executive.
There is a $10 charge for mailing.

Book Talks

Since the book, Echoes of The Past, was published in May 2016, the writers have been giving illustrated talks to historical societies and other interested groups. We talk about the book and tailor each presentation to suit the audience and the one room schools that were in their local area.
If your group would be interested in having a presentation, please contact Jean (905 826 3475) jkrob@rogers.com for further information.

Membership Drive

If you haven't already renewed your membership in the Friends of the Schoolhouse, it's time to do so. Our membership year runs from January to December. We welcome new members. Membership forms can be downloaded and printed using this link. Members play a vital part in preserving the schoolhouse and maintaining and expanding the programs for children who spend a day experiencing school life of long ago. Members receive four newsletters a year, additional notices of events, and are invited to an appreciation "Lemonade on the Lawn" event in July. In addition there are opportunities to volunteer on committees and at events.

Come and Join Us

If you have a couple of hours a month or only a few hours once or twice a year you could help us support the schoolhouse and its programs. The executive committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June to conduct the business of the Friends of the Schoolhouse and to plan programs and events. Our meetings are from 4 to 6 in the afternoon at the schoolhouse. Volunteers help on an occasional basis with our events and in the gardens. Not only do we support a worthwhile cause, we have a lot of fun doing it. Email our Executive Director Shirley Hoad at shoad@bell.net, if you have a few hours to spare and an interest in helping preserve a community treasure for future generations of children.

Open Sundays 2015-2016
1 to 4 pm - Something new every month from September to June with light refreshments.

For more information about our Open Sunday programs go to the Events page.

Mark Your Calendar

To see a list of our year's events go to the Events page.

Researching our Roots

There is still much more to discover about the Old Britannia Schoolhouse and other early one room schools. Read below for a wish list of "Wanted" items that will help us learn more about our historic schoolhouse.


For use in a book on one-room schools in Peel County:
  • Minute Books
  • Cash Books
  • Class Photos
  • Report Cards
  • Prize Ribbons
  • Medals
  • Certificates
  • Shields
  • Contracts
  • Trustee Memorabilia
  • Teacher Memorabilia
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • School Registers

Your contribution will be acknowledged. Materials supplied will either be returned to you or donated to the Peel County Archives on your behalf.


SLATE stands for So Let's All Talk Education (in a one room school), or as one witty person suggested, being truly Canadian, So Let's All Talk Eh! Each year for a day in the spring people involved in working or volunteering in living history one room schoolhouses get together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We meet at a different schoolhouse location each year which gives everyone the opportunity to experience how living history is presented in a setting different from their own.

If you are a staff member or volunteer in a living history one room schoolhouse and would like more information about SLATE, contact:

Helen Booth
Museum Director
Town of Lincoln's Jordan Historical Museum
3800 Main Street
Jordan, ON. L0R 1S0
Fax: 905-562-7786