Why school site was chosen

In the good old days in Bennington Heights

Thomas Weatherhead
Thomas Weatherhead

Thomas Weatherhead, in his journal below, tells how the site of Bennington Heights Public School was chosen in 1936.

Smoke got in their eyes

As Solicitor for the Board of Education, it was one of my duties to buy new school sites. The Board commissioned me therefore to begin to buy a site for a new school east of the Belt Line.

I looked the situation over carefully and decided on the land around where our present school stands.

Some folk living south of the railway in Governor’s Manor thought the new school site should be down there.

At last, one night, about eight o’clock in the summer, two or three car loads of trustees and councilors came over to see where the new school site should be. They got out of their cars on Bayview and looked over the land lying west of Bayview and then drove down Pottery Road, which was then open, and across the tracks to Governor’s Manor. 

It was a rather rainy night and a northeast wind was blowing. As luck would have it just as the trustees got to the proposed new site in Governor’s Manor near the tracks, two great freight trains came along, one from the east and one from the west, smoke belching from their smoke stacks and with a deafening noise.

The smoke swirled down and almost choked the trustees, and when they came out of it they could hardly gasp. That ended all talk of buying a school site south of the tracks and that night the present site was chosen.

I was commissioned to try to buy the necessary lots. The land in this district was very cheap then. Year after year, I bought lots when I could; then we held expropriation meetings and took all the lots across the top of the hill.