MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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The McMahon School

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Page 189
by The McMahons

In 1926 Mart McMahon donated land for a school hence the name. It was one room with an added cloakroom, a barn, two outhouses and a coal shed between them. There was a large play area for ball games and some swings.

Some of the students rode horses (Smiths, Gerard Hickey, Jorgensons) but most walked even in the coldest weather. Miss Glasser boarded at Patchings and she would come charging down the road on her white steed.

The teachers usually "boarded" with one of the families. Most stayed at Harold Hudsons, Miss Tapley lived with her sister in the Wocknitz house. Izzy Smeaton and Maxine Ditto boarded at McMahons.

One of the older pupils was usually the janitor. The duties consisted of cleaning the blackboards and brushes, sweeping, the floor every day and it had to be mopped several times a year. Keep the fire going and bring in a pail of water for drinking.

The families attending the school over the years were Robinson - they moved in 1928 off the farm the McMahons moved onto - Jorgensons, Patchings, McMahons, Harold Hudsons, Les Hudsons, Smiths, Hickey, Hydechuks, and Strands.

The teachers were: 1926-27 ?; 1927-28 ?; 1928 - 29, 1929-30, and 1930-31 Dorothy Roberts. 1931-36 Dorothy Glasser; 1936-37 Muriel Tapley, 1937-38 Dorothy Wocknitz, 1940-41 Izzy Smeaton; 1941 for a few weeks Goldie Kittleson, and 1941-42 Maxine Ditto. Then the school closed In 1944 Jim McMahon and Ed Patching each on a tractor moved the McMahon School over to some property near McNally School. It was to be used as a teacherage but nothing was ever done with it. Years later the land reverted back to the McMahon family. George had bought the section it was on so Jack took care of everything.

Things We Remember

All holidays were big events: At Halloween there was often a costume party and every one came dressed up, (no store bought costumes). Sometimes this was an evening event with the whole community attending. there would often be a dance.

When a pupil had a birthday, treats were brought to school. Verna McMahon always brought a big freezer of ice cream with the cake.

In 1935 Eugene McMahon and Donna Smith danced the Highland Fling in costume. The program was always followed by a visit from Santa with treats for all. Bill Robinson made an excellent Santa.

At Christmas all schools put on programs with every student taking part. We alternated nights with Wilson School so we could attend both. At Wilson School the Sickles twins (Earl and Myrle) put on some very dramatic performances.

On Valentine's Day we would have a big decorated box at the front of the room and everyone would put their valentines in it. Patchings were especially good at making up rhymes. Most cards were home made with students spending hours working on them. On Valentines Day two pupils were chosen to distribute the cards. There was always a lot of laughing and teasing over who gave what and to whom!

The schools were the focal point of many community activities, with card parties, dances and socials attended by whole families. The babies slept on coats in a corner. There was something for every age group.

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Copyright © 2000 Mary Tollestrup