Schools in Blyth
A history of schools in Blyth
In the beginning Blyth students attended schools located in Morris or East Wawanosh. Unfortunately it is difficult to tell exactly where the local students were going.
SS No. 1 Morris included the eastern half of the village. When the first village school was opened SS No 1 moved one and a half miles east and became known as Ebenezer School after the Methodist Church across the road.
SS No. 10 East Wawanosh was opened in 1860 and its second teacher was George Quinn of Blyth who taught there from 1865 to 1875.
The first truly Blyth school was the result of a petition of Dr. Alex Thomson and others asking the council of East Wawanosh for the establishment of a union school in 1867. It was on Dinsley Street in the Orange Lodge building. It was probably not opened until 1868 at the earliest, as the petition is reported to have been made in August.
The history of Blyth compiled for the centennial celebrations reported that the new school was a one-storey frame building, 30 feet by 40 feet, seating 100 students. This was replaced by a new frame school on the hill at the north end of town.
According to The Huron Expositor that school was superceded by a $2,200, three-room, brick structure on the same property in 1877. At that time Mrs. Lovatt was added to a teaching staff consisting of James Scott and Joshua Tenant. She was paid the princely sum of $250 for her work.
By 1895 the school on the hill had become too small and it was decided to build a new school at the site of the old fair grounds. The old school was later transformed into an apartment building.
In 1910 a continuation (secondary) school was added to the system and Blyth students no longer left town to continue their education.
The 1920s brought a need to expand the facilities and in 1923 a two-storey addition was added to the school with the second floor being dedicated to the activities of the continuation school. A room specifically designed for science classes was part of the new addition.
In 1946 it was decided to close the continuation school and students were bused to Clinton to further their education.
The school got a new lease on life in 1958 when one of the downstairs classrooms was remodeled to serve as Blyth's first kindergarten. However, by 1965 the building was considered beyond repair and was condemned.
The decision to build the new school on the same property just north of the old building caused some controversy as it was felt the playground might be too small for the number of students attending.
The new school did initially face some crowding problems but recent years have seen a decline in population. Also, until the completion of the village's sewage treatment system, there were some problems with the capacity of the septic system at the school.
In 2009 the Avon-Maitland District School Board voted to close Blyth Public School, along with East Wawanosh Public School at Belgrave, Turnberry Central Public School on the southern edge of Wingham and Wingham Public School and build a new school for students from kindergarten to grade 6 near the F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham. Grade 7 and 8 students will go to F. E. Madill. Students from Blyth will be divided with some going to Hullett Central Public School in Londesboro and some going to the new Wingham school. No date for the closure of Blyth Public School is known as of the date of this posting.