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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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Scandinavia School children before 1900.
Both A. Backlund and Warren Waterton were paid ten cents per day for lighting the fire in the school by 8 AM each morning, to be monitored by the teacher. During the difficult years of the 1930's the trustees were notified one term by the Department of Education that they would pay the teacher's salary for September and October so they could open as usual.
Arbor Day is a term that has disappeared from the school year. For many years the first Monday in May was set aside for cleaning and beautifying the schoolyard. In 1901, when Walter Carrall was the teacher, there were fourteen spruce trees planted in the schoolyard by the pupils. Fifty years later when these trees were still a majestic sight, unfortunately the installation of the Hydro lines necessitated the removal of many of them.
Another day regularly recorded was that of Mid summer's Day, June 24. This was the national Swedish holiday and this new colony regularly held a picnic that day. Attendance would be at the most four or five children and sometimes there were none at all! One teacher recorded - no attendance - Swedish picnic.
Readjustments to the district were made from time to time. First of these was in 1906 when the Erickson district was organized, followed by Nedrob and finally Otter Lake. The building, having been condemned for several years, was finally closed in 1960. The Erickson Women's
Institute, the Lion's Club and the Town Council were planning a joint project to preserve the old building and develop a museum. Unfortunately, on June 12, 1965, due to vandalism, it was completely destroyed by fire and so ended the era of this little Red Schoolhouse. A new site half a mile north and one mile east was chosen and a new school built on a four-acre yard. The district was now approximately only three and a half to four miles by four miles in area with a zig-zag boundary.
No doubt the new school improved the facilities and the building was also used for social functions, the highlight, of course, being the annual Christmas concert. No rural child ever forgets the joy and excitement of those days leading up to the concert, the new clothes, the curled hair, the final night and then, Santa Claus!
Field Days were another event enjoyed by the children each year. Even when the enrollment was small and they didn't fare too well in competitions, it was a day to be anticipated and recalled with pleasure. One of their last outings was with Mrs. Mary Thoren when she arranged to take them to the Brandon Fair for a day.
As enrollment decreased and the difficulty in procuring teachers increased, the school was closed, functioning for the last term of 1967-68. Scandinavia School became part of the Rolling River Division No. 39 and the pupils were bused to Erickson schools. The last trustees were Paul