Otter Elementary and Otter School, from the notes of N. Sherritt, Danny Cummings

Otter Elementary and Otter School, from the notes of N. Sherritt, Danny Cummings

Two little boys from Otter School, both from pioneer families, decided one day that they had had it with their teacher, so they decided to bring some dynamite to school and set it off under his desk at noon. In those days little boys knew all about using dynamite to blow stumps. 

The little Mclnnes boy arrived at school with his two sticks of dynamite, but the little Williams boy, who was to bring the caps, had to stay home to work. 

The result? One little boy dismissed from school, one little boy got off "scott free", and one teacher lived to tell the tale. 

Otter School, by Danny Cummings (early 20th century), quoted from "Growing Up in the Valley", page 62) 

I really belonged in Lochiel School, but the trail wasn't open. So I went to Otter School. It was a one-room school. It had a big box stove in the middle, and pipes went way back. The kids were fully as hard to control as they are today. There was a teacher there and he had two boys, and one of them was a pretty bad boy. I remember one day (I was just a little kid - seven years old), the father and the son started to fight. They upset the stove pipes, and all us kids were crying, and they fought it out right there, the father and son. 

Then when I was about eight they opened the trail to Lochiel School and I started going to that. But Otter was a tough school [in] those days. The next teacher that came, some of us kids had no use for him. He was over 70, you know. If you did something wrong, he would tell you to go to the anteroom, and maybe leave you there for half an hour. And then he'd come out and take your head and put it between his legs and give it to you. The kids got down on him, and they put four or five sticks of powder and a fuse under the school, right under his desk. At noon hour they lit it, but they had no cap on it, otherwise it would have blown the whole thing to pieces. 

At Otter after that, they got a little girl in to teach. She didn't weigh a hundred pounds, and the people all said, "Oh, well!" Inside a month you could hear a pin drop. Everything was lovely. 

There were only twenty teachers in the whole municipality. An awful lot of them were town girls, and they fitted in awful good in the country. They knew all the parents, and boarded at one of the parents' houses. And they used to take a lead in everything, them days. They never got home weekends, and if the community wanted a play, they put on a play—or the Ladies' Aid, they'd join in with them. 

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