Old Fort High memories sought

With February being National Heritage Month, it’s a good time for people to remember the history of their community.
That’s why the Saving School Memories Committee has decided to hold a meeting Feb. 12 at 4 p.m.
at the Fort Frances Museum next month so the public can share their ideas and resources about old Fort Frances High School on First Street East.
“We’d like to see what kind of memories and pictures are out there in the community,” said committee member Pam Hawley, who also is the museum curator.
Anyone with photos, videos, or memorabilia of any kind regarding the old high school are invited to come out and share them. “If we don’t get these things now, we’ll lose them,” Hawley stressed.
Hawley is not only looking for tangible items. She’s encouraging people with interesting stories about the school to come forward, too.
“Sometimes you collect things, but what’s the story behind the thing?” she remarked.
Developers have been working on the old school since the fall. The oldest section has been demolished while the remaining three sections will be renovated to lease out to tenants.
Hawley said there are a number of things that can be done with the resources they collect, including setting up a display inside old Fort High once the building is renovated, producing a video, and collecting memorabilia for the museum.
Some people already have come forward with material for the project, she noted.
“We’ve had a little bit from here and there, part of the result of having pictures in the paper,” she noted. “Some people have brought in packages of pictures.”^The developers themselves also have been helpful. “They’re trying to make an effort, to say ‘This was a building that served the community,’” Hawley said.
She also noted this may not be the last time the museum makes an effort to preserve the memory of a local school.
“It seems to be a trend now.
Schools are closing across the province.
I don’t think we’ll be stopping at the Fort Frances High School, unfortunately,” Hawley remarked.
Three local schools—Alexander McKenzie, Sixth Street, and Alberton Central—are slated for closure this fall when the expansion of J.W. Walker is complete.