"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.

COVID 19 Information

All Friends of the Schoolhouse activities are cancelled until further notice. There will be no Open Sundays until September. Watch the Current News page for information in the coming months. The Friends wish everyone good health in these difficult days and weeks We look forward to seeing you at the schoolhouse in the future.

Summer/Early Fall Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is now on the Newsletter page. Click here to find it. Take a trip with our schoolmistress to find interesting historic sites and lost villages around Ontario. Get some ideas for quick and easy lunches. You’ve heard about the Harvest Moon, but did you know every month has a special name for its full moon?

Fall Fairs

Normally at this time of year the schoolmistresses and the Friends of the Schoolhouse would be preparing for the Brampton Fall Fair. Vegetables the children planted in the spring would be harvested and selected for competition. The Old Britannia Schoolhouse always won several prizes.

Fall Fairs are a long-standing tradition in rural communities and even in large urban areas. The Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto is over 100 years old. Farm communities competed to show their best fruit, vegetables, grain and animals. Young people belonging to 4H clubs proudly showed off animals they had raised during the summer. When the Friends of the Schoolhouse had a booth at the Brampton Fair we were located beside the show ring and always enjoyed watching the 4H members show their dairy cattle. Competitions were held for the best jams, pickles, needlework, quilts and more.

There was entertainment in the evening with local musicians. Large fairs like the CNE would feature well known national and international headliners. Often entertainment would involve a midway with rides like a merry=go=round or a Ferris wheel. Games of chance were also popular.

The fair provided a time to relax and have fun after a long spring and summer of farm duties and the harvesting of the crops. Although there will be no fairs again this year, we can still enjoy the harvest by visiting farm markets. The local farm community will appreciate our support.

Fall Fair Midway Games

You can have fun playing popular midway games in your own back yard or park.

Knock Down

The object of the game is to land a ring around an object like a bottle or can. Often these are milk bottles (remember those?) that are lined up in tiers on shelves. Here’s how to make your own Knock Down game.

You need:

What to do:

  1. Fill the cans half full of dry beans
  2. Seal the can tightly on top with the tape.
  3. Balance the cans in three rows, 3 cans on the bottom row, 2 cans in the middle row and 1 can on top.
  4. If you wish you can paint and decorate the cans, but it’s not necessary.

How to play:
Decide how far away players must stand. Toss the ball and try to knock down some or all of the cans.

Ring Toss

The object of the game is to land a ring around an object like a bottle or can. Often these are milk bottles (remember those?) that are lined up in tiers on shelves. Here’s how to make your own Knock Down game.

You need:

How to play:
Line up the pumpkins in a straight line, a short distance between them.
Stand behind the agreed upon throwing line and toss the hoop. Try to “ring” a pumpkin.

Coming Events

No events are planned during the COVID 19 pandemic.

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. Please note that because of the COVID19 pandemic, we are suspending the payment of membership fees for 2021. Our newsletters and website will continue to be available to members. Donations to support the schoolhouse and its programs are always welcome and appreciated.

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 2020-2021
Something new every month from September to June.

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