"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 February 11, 2018
1 to 4 pm.
Valentine's Day

Come and enjoy a few hours of warmth and warm wishes in the middle of a cold February winter. Valentine's Day with its spirit of love and good will couldn't come at a better time of the year. Do you know the history of this special day? Find out more while looking at our display of vintage valentines. Be inspired. Then make a valentine for someone special in your life.

Heritage Day
Saturday February 10
Bramalea City Centre Mall

We will be celebrating Canada's heritage with other historical groups. Join us for this Sesquicentennial celebration. We will have all the usual old-fashioned toys for the children to play with along with information about the one room schools that existed long ago in Peel County.

The Olympics

This February many of us will be watching world class athletes compete at the Olympic Winter Games. It's impossible to know what impact the revival of the ancient Greek athletic event had on the little community of Britannia in 1896. When Baron Pierre de Coubertin visited Greece in the late 1800s, he learned about the games that had long ago been discontinued and was determined to revive them. The first modern games were held in Athens in 1896. Thirteen nations and 280 participants competed in 43 events, Only male athletes competed. The events were ones we would now consider summer sports - track and field, swimming, tennis, fencing and others. Canada did not participate in 1896 but in 1900 in Paris won a gold and a bronze medal. The Winter Olympics were first held in 1924; however, figure skating was introduced in 1908.

The first Canadian to win an Olympic medal was George Orton from Strathroy Ontario. Born in 1873 he was 27 years old in 1900 when he won a gold medal in the steeplechase and a bronze in the 400 meter hurdles. Canada was not credited with the medals since Orton was studying in the United States and was competing for the University of Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania Archives photo

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 2017-2018
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.

WANTED

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 Group

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:

Christine Chapel
The Old Britannia Schoolhouse
5576 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON
L5R 1B3
905-890-1010 ext 2911