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Where Midland's first families learned the three Rs: East Ward and Manly Street schools

Many school attendees went on to lead prominent lives

East Ward School and Manly Street School. 

The East Ward School, so named for its location east of King St., Midland, educated many of the village children.

Not the first school, nor the second, but possibly the third school built in Midland. Osborne refers to a school in the vicinity of Second and Easy St., and then, a wood-frame structure on Manly.

Many students from Dollartown attended this school which was built in 1907.

Regent Street School was built in 1915 to accommodate a growing student population.

The high school, on Sixth Street was built 1904 and a west addition in 1923. (It would later become Parkview Public School.)

Mr. Robert G. Nesbitt, we are told, came to Midland in 1903 and for 30 years, was the principal of Manley Street School. We learn he was a member of Session at Knox as well as president of the Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society.

At least thirty-one students became teachers themselves and other, well-known residents, such as lawyer George Dudley and Dr. Peacock as well as Dr. Gardiner, all trained under Mr. Nesbitt at Manly Street School.

Like many “Consolidated Schools” of the era, they outlived their usefulness without extensive renovations, which include remediating the presence of asbestos and updated wiring to today’s standards.

Several attempts in the past to re-purpose the building by proposing redevelopment turned out to be largely fictitious.

The building’s present owner had made attempts at conversion into residential with little success as requirements under the building code are well defined and require considerable capital for development. Currently, it is Midland’s largest single-family residence.

René Hackstetter January 4, 2021.