Throwback Thursday – Stair Street School

Today is Thursday, which means it is time for another #ThrowbackThursday photo!

This week’s photo features a group of students from Stair Street School around 1910. Previously know as the Coloured School, Stair Street School opened in 1879 and accommodated 30 pupils. It was located on the Dartmouth Common facing Stair Street, which is now Alderney Drive between Leighton Dillman Park and Alderney Manor. Prior to the opening of the Coloured School, Dartmouth’s Black children were not being formally educated in any Dartmouth school.

In 1836, a group of concerned Black residents petitioned the government to open a school for Dartmouth’s Black children. The group included Jeremiah Page, Daniel Fendal, Geroge Gibson, Samuel Wood, John Garo, William Andel, Robert Tynes, Nim Carter, Henry Clark, Daniel Gross and John Francklyn. While many in the community seemed to agree it was needed, nothing came from this request. The discussion was brought up again in 1878 by Rev. James Ross, which resulted in the Coloured School being built. The school was almost closed in 1889, but the Dartmouth Board of School Commissioners reversed their decision and instead renamed it to Stair Street School. The school closed in 1915 due to low attendance.

(Photo: DHM 1993.015)