Central School's History

Central School (also called Yarmouth Seminary) about 1864. Swainphotograph
The building was principally a gift of GeorgeKillam. The grounds coveredalmost three acres.
In this photograph the girls (foreground) are playing croquet; theboys (midfield), cricket.
The house in the background is still standing, and is the home of JuniperHouse

Central School replaced the "Yarmouth Seminary" (above top) which hadbeen dedicated on October 12th, 1864 on the area known as "Education Hill". The picture (above) is the three-story brick edifice constructed in theyear 1936 in front of the site of the Seminary. The cornerstone (below)was laid by the Hon. Angus L. Macdonald who was premier of Nova Scotiaat that time.  Along with him was the Mayor of Yarmouth, His WorshipJ. M. Walker and the Chairman of the School Board, Mr.S.W. Williamson M.D. The school was opened the day following its dedication.  Its costback then was about $20 000, which was paid by the residents of the townof Yarmouth.


Central School was constructed in two phases.   Before themain construction began, the basement had to be excavated.  This wasdone with a team of oxen and a plow led by Captain Simms.  Click here for a Quicktime movie of the excavation. The buildingis a steel frame construction with a brick exterior finish.

The school was originally heated by coal, and was the first school inYarmouth to have electric lights and tiled floors along with movable desks. (The original tile is still on the floors, and in good condition.) The basement had no classrooms and was divided into two sections, one forthe boys and the other for the girls.  This was used for recess, games,sports, etc.  For women back in the days of long dresses and featheredhats, female teachers could not be married and teach school.  Slacksof course were not part of the dress code.

Central School has many memories in her hallways.  The CanadianRed Cross used the basement during the War years for blood donor clinics. After the Yarmouth Academy fire in 1949, Central School was host for itsclasses.  The School Library is named for our first Principal, John J.Oliver, whohad a 35 year tenure.

The second phase (below), connected to the east side of the buildingover the site of the Seminary, is a one-story addition which was constructedin 1970.

The building has hosted the YarmouthTeachers Professional Centre for a number of years. Currently it ishoused in the second phase wing (below).

An Early French Immersion program was begun at Central School in September1988. Its continuance goes through Yarmouth Junior High, where our Englishstream students also go. The original group of Immersion students is partof the graduating class of 2001 at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial HighSchool. These two schools are Central's neighbours across the street. (belowleft: YJH and, in the green building, the School Board offices; right: YCMHS)

A sign bearing the Central's name was erected in 1999 as part of theSchool Advisory Council's School Improvement Planfor that year. It was funded by the Home and School.

Central School has had seven principals since the year it opened:

John James Oliver: 1937-1972

Vernon Moses: 1972-1979

Victor Landry: 1979-1985

Lawrence Banks: 1985-1995

David Sollows: 1995-2002

David McDougall: 2002-2003

Janece McNutt: 2003-present

"Properties" contents / "Propriétés" table de mati¸res

"Legacy" contents / "Héritage" table de mati¸res