Public School S.S. No.8
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1875, Maplewood Hall (formerly known as the Public School S.S. No. 8) is a one storey stone building located at 92 Maplewood Avenue, in the village of Oxford Mills.
The property was recognized by the former Township of Oxford-on-Rideau in By-law No. 54-94, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Designed by John Steacy, a prominent architect from Belleville, the school was built by A. Willoughby using limestone from the nearby Harris Quarry. Public School S. S. No. 8 was opened in September 1875 with W. Thompson as principal and an attendance of approximately sixty pupils. On the front of the school there is a porch with a bell tower. The building was operated continuously as a school until 1964 when it was closed, along with eleven other Oxford Township rural schools. It subsequently served as a meeting hall and is now a community hall for Oxford Mills.
Many eminent pupils received part or all of their elementary education in Public School S.S. No.8. Winnifred Lamrock, a former teacher and local historian, once noted “If the stones of the two-roomed stone school could talk, what interesting stories they could tell to supplement the few bare facts written here.”
The architectural value of the Maplewood Hall lies in its vernacular Italianate influenced design, built of broken-coursed cut-limestone with plinth, keystones and quoins. The building has a rectangular plan with a projecting front entranceway, symmetrically placed in the centre of the façade. It has a gable roof with a smaller gable over the front entranceway and is highlighted by a decorative belfry.
Sources: North Grenville By-law 54-94; Municipality of North Grenville Heritage Property File; Harold Kalman “A History of Canadian Architecture”.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Maplewood Hall include its:
- rectangular plan
- broken-coursed cut limestone
- masonry details; such as rock-faced voussoirs, keystones, plinth and quoins with chiselled corners
- projecting front entranceway, symmetrically placed in the centre of the façade
- plain lug-style stone window sills with bush-hammered finish
- large 12 over 12 double-hung sash windows with segmented head stone arches, window frames and upper sashes
- eight light, segmented head transom over the front entrance
- marble date-stone above the entrance (with the inscription “School Section No. 8 A.D. 1875 A. Willoughby, Builder”)
- decorative eaves with moulded frieze and heavily moulded decorative fascia on the gable ends
- gable roof with a smaller gable over the front entranceway
- decorative belfry, which features a bell-cast hip roof, decorative eaves, brackets and mouldings
- original school bell (with inscriptions “Banduzn and Tift Cincinnati Buckeye Bell Foundry 1892”) and support arms of the bell in the belfry (with inscription “Rotery Yoke Patton”)
- chimney at the south end, one of two original chimneys
- property which was purchased for school purposes in 1875, now part of the treed Township Park.
- use as a public school from 1875 to 1964
- ongoing use for public purposes
- location adjacent to the Oxford-on-Rideau Township Hall
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub
- One-Room School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipality of North Grenville
285 County Road #44
Kemptville ON. K0G 1J0
Cross-Reference to Collection