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Ruby M. Cusack
History of Corn Hill

Cliff and I had to walk backwards on our way to school, as we could not face the strong extremely cold blowing wind and snow.

We stopped in the covered bridge to seek some shelter but that wasn’t much help.

Mum had bundled us up well but the wind went right through the scarves that were wrapped around our faces.

The nearer we approached the school, the colder my fingers and toes became.

Since I had the job of lighting the fire in our little one room school, there would be no warmth to greet us, just the snapping of the walls made by Jack Frost.

The school door was always kept locked with the key hanging beside it but the key wasn’t there. We noticed foot prints in the fresh snow. I was a bit timid of entering so Cliff went in first as there was the occasional down-and-outer who looked for a place to stay as he walked the roads looking for work on a farm or at a mill camp.

To our surprise we were greeted with warmth and Gramp sitting in the teacher’s chair reading a book.

He told us he was concerned about us and the other students walking in the 35 below weather and how cold we would be as the wind was blowing fiercely. Then we would find a very cold building waiting for us, so he set his alarm clock and came to the school to get a good roaring fire going.

His being in the school by himself for a couple of hours brought memories to him of his school days, that he shared with us.

Maybe the grown up former students of the Corn Hill School told their children and grandchildren of the first school that was also used as a church way back in the 1850's. Some of those children who attended that school had a very long walk through unplowed roads.

In 1874, the Corn Hill Corner school was built and the Corn Hill East school in 1874 in which a mysterious fire burned the building before its completion but it was rebuilt the same year. In 1882, the teacher was Zephic Saunders with 37 pupils.

A plaque was dedicated in Chipman in 1973 to Mrs. Margaret Sophia Fraser Cox 1842-1923, an outstanding rural teacher, as a representative of many of the early teachers

An 1891 issue of the Telegraph Journal tells of the tragic accident of a three-year-old girl who lost an arm and a leg to a cutter bar of a reaping machine. Her determination led her to graduate from Normal School in 1908 and to teach for twenty-three years. She raised six children as well as managing a home and farm.

Twenty-three pages of the “History of Corn Hill” are devoted to education. The memories of the teachers makes one realize the joys of teaching in a one room school.

In order to eat, a community needed ways to make a living. Corn Hill was fortunate in having mixed farming. In the 1880s, the average farm had a few cows, several hens, a pig or two, a few sheep and the faithful work horse. Farmers needed to have muscles as manual labour was the way work was done.

Cheese making also brought in money. One cheese factory in 1892 was owned by James H, Brown who won first price in later years for the best coloured cheese at the Saint John Exhibition. Cheese sold for ten cents a pound and it was recorded that more than nine thousand pounds of milk per day was known to be delivered to the factory. Several pages are devoted to this industry.

In 1875 and 1876, registered letters were received by J. A. Burlock, Patrick Mooligon, Ezekiel Dunfield, Lester Stockton, Ansley Berry and others.

The information on Mail Delivery and the Post Office holds many names.

An interesting page gives  a look at the items sold in the local store in 1872 and 1904. Gladys (Rouse) Marr shares what went on inside the store. The taking of the molasses jug to be refilled brought memories to me.

Grist Mills are long forgotten and the growing of many acres of buckwheat to make flour and bran has lessened. Nothing was wasted. The hulls were used for insulating buildings. Some big millstones were hauled from Grand Lake to Corn Hill by John and Abram Branscombe
On Oct 01, 1897 - John McDermott, while partridge hunting one day found a bee’s nest in a hollow tree. He and his son Ambrose, procured nearly one hundred pounds of honey.

Feb 15, 1895 - Some of the leading men of this area are going to Hampton to attend a prohibition convention.

Sep. 9, 1903 - Newton DeBow has gone to Northfield, Mass. to attend college.

April 8, 1896 - Fourteen were baptized and added to the F. C. B. Church as a result of the special meeting held by Rev. G. Swim.

Sep. 27, 1909 - J. Stewart Brown, Medford, Mass., spent a few days here with his relatives.

Dec.13, 1908 - Miss Bessie M. Clark and Walter T. Stockton who are attending Provincial Normal School, Fredericton are home for their Christmas holidays.

Those who read family histories will be very excited to read all the information that has been shared.

This 240 page book was published in the 1980's and provides information, photos and personal memories from many residents of Corn Hill regarding churches, organizations, veterans, residents, family histories, sports, interviews, notes from the Weekly Record 1889 to 1907 and much more.

The publication, ``History of Corn Hill`` reveals how a community came together to preserve their history for future generations.

Alice (Keith) Fletcher summed up the feelings of the folk of Corn Hill:
         To me these memories are so precious,
    But there’s one more precious still,
        Not the buildings or the landscape      
It’s the people of Corn Hill.

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