The School At Red Rod Cove

Provided to me by Norman Denney.  If anyone has any memories to share regarding the school please contact me.  My grandfather, George Fancey, probably attended this school as a boy - he got up to Grade 3.

Here is a bit of history about the School House at Red Rock Cove, Change Islands.  Since this is where Stephen and Emma Fancey lived and had their children (at least some of them if not all) I thought you might find it interesting.

My mother, Elizabeth Whilhelmina Fancey b.21 May 1899, d 25 September 1979, kept a diary during the last few years of her life.  On 15 June 1979, she wrote under the heading "Some things I remember about my birthplace and my family", part of which is as follows"

"I was the youngest of seven children of Charles William Fancey and Elizabeth (LeDrew).  The others were Mary, Timothy, Lemuel, Maude, Bessie and Charles Wesley.  We lived on a farm on the West end of Change Islands (South side).* My father donated the land for a school house and then built the school himself.  My oldest sister Mary, being 17 years older than me, was teaching by the time I was old enought to start school.  I remember the first day she took me to school and at noon I hid behind our home and did not want to go back.  She found me and promised me a new book and that pleased me.  When I was six we gave up that land and moved to the East end of the Island.  My Dad built a new home and kept on building stores to keep his equipment for fishing."

On 22 July 1991, while visiting Change Islands, I met my cousin Mildred (daughter of Bessie) and her husband Weston LeDrew.  The subject of the school came up and Mildred's daughter-in-law, Joan who was married to Mildred's son Orville, and herself a school teacher, brought over the books of accounts and minutes of the Methodist School Board.  We found in the minutes of that period of time, an entry of $25.00 paid to Charles Fancey, probably for work on the school house, and another entry of a sum paid to Miss Mary Fancey.  I don't recall the amount paid to her nor did I record the dates.

We know that the school house was there until after the second world war, when it was put up for sale.  Weston LeDrew, Mildred's husband,who had just returned from service in the Royal Navy for five years, placed a bid of $150.00 with the intention, if he were the successful bidder, to move it to another place and  convert it to a house.  For some reason, the school house was sold to a lower bidder, (Co-op), and was used as a storage shed for salt!  Some years later it was torn down and Weston's son Everett, acquired the sills and towed them up the tickle where he and his father used them to build a slip for their boats.  One of the sills was still there on 23 July 1991 and I photographed the slip.  I examined the former sill and found it to be a a very dense and solid log.  Wes cut off a few chips and gave them to me - I still have them.

* the farm was at Red Rock Cove

As for the house that my grandfather built when he moved from Red Rock Cove, it is the house which you can see in the photo of his scooner, wharf and sawmill which I sent to you.  That house burned to the ground (another story) and was replaced by one which is still there and is occupied and maintained by his grandson Charles William Fancey!

Copyright ©: Sean Fancey, 2000

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Last Modified January 9, 2000
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