Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Pleasant Ridge School turns 150; open house planned for Saturday - Aug. 20, 2014



Chris Roberts
Lawrence Station
For the third straight summer, former students of Pleasant Ridge School will gather at the restored building for a celebration of its history and an afternoon of fun.
The public is welcomed to attend the Aug. 23 event, which runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
This year marks the 150th year of the building’s existence. To give a comparison, the Dominion of Canada was only formed 147 years ago, three years after the Pleasant Ridge school was built.
“It was before confederation,” said Alice Johnson, who helps organize the event, with a laugh.
The school closed in 1968, but the building was used for church services for years after.
“It is amazing, because I remember when I first started going with my husband, we used to go there for church service, and we just sat in the old school desks,” Johnson recalled.
Johnson’s husband attended the school and he is part of the restoration group which was established years ago. She said the condition of the building then, compared to now, is night and day.
“It literally was falling down; the door was kicked in on it, they had to replace that, the guys have put a lot into it, and they have raised every cent themselves.”
Some of the school’s artifacts have been preserved and will be available for viewing; for instance, Johnson said there is an old school desk which will be on site, as will the old school bell.
A barbecue and live entertainment is also promised, as well as a 50/50 draw, and organizers are hoping to have the oldest surviving member of the school attend the event – Helena Corning, 96, who lives in Saint Andrews.
“She still has her wits about her,” said Johnson. “She’s sharp.”
The building itself is located at 4060 Rollingdam Road.
“It has all been restored and it has got Pleasant Ridge School on it – you can’t miss it.”

chrisroberts@stcroixcourier.ca