The Building is a typical academy (palace) style school of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.Wood frame, wood cladding, large three story with distinctive bell tower and modified mansard roof. The Old Mahone Bay School was closed as a public school in 2000. The Town of Mahone Bay sold the school to the Mahone Bay Centre Society for $1.00 in 2001.
Clara Quinlan was one of the most striking, interesting, and controversial personalities in the early days of the old school. Born into a well-to-do Mahone Bay family (whose home was the current Suttles and Seawinds building), she was hired to teach in the Mahone Bay school in 1917. Following several disputes with the school board, including over school curriculum, she resigned in 1922, and taught elsewhere until 1950. She was highly respected by her students.
Hope Hyson was eleven when the school opened in 1914, and after normal school came back to teach from 1924 to 1927. She remembered being strapped as a student, but as a teacher, she felt so bad about strapping Philip Lohnes that she never used the strap again, “ever!” Hope was Guest of Honour at the 2000 school reunion, and lived to 103 in 2006.
1924 May Day Celebration was a memorable occasion for Hope, when her class won first prize in the parade for its “Tom Thumb Wedding”. The dress-up costumes were quite imaginative, and spiffy, although most of the wedding party look like they are not so sure.
Hazel Schnare’s Grade Seven class in the late 1920s: It looks like having their picture taken was not a favourite pastime for these Grade Seven students. One stands out, however. Can you guess which girl went on to become one of the famous “Copa” girls at New York’s Copacabana Club? Try the back row, second from the right: Patricia Wentzell, with the vivacious grin.
Please visit the Lobby of the Mahone Bay Centre as well as the Mahone Bay Museum (http://mahonebaymuseum.com/) for more information about this beautiful building.