Old Robert Moore demolition begins

Peggy Revell

A fixture in Fort Frances since 1914, Robert Moore School is in the midst of being demolished.
“It’s sad. It’s a sad day,” reflected Linda Rajala, who brought her lawn chair out to sit and watch the walls and floors tumble down into piles a dust from her vantage point on Crowe Avenue on Friday afternoon.
The school holds a lot of memories for Rajala, who attended it. Her mother—who turns 90 this summer—also went to school there, she noted.
“I lived right across the street and I was late each day,” Rajala chuckled, noting she often would be eating breakfast and waiting for the bell to ring before she ran out the door.
“It’s got so much history,” she added about the building, noting she’s happy the new school has kept the name alive.
Rajala wasn’t the only one to watch the demolition. Motorists slowed down to catch a peek while children on their summer vacation biked over.
Pedestrians stopped to take a look as the demolition work began.
Joining Rajala in a lawn chair was Sal Beck, who said she’s also sad to see the building come down.
“I’m kind of an antiques person so I’m always sad to see old buildings go,” she remarked.
As a “west-ender,” Beck never attended the Robert Moore herself—but all of her children did.
Seeing the old school being torn down is sad, agreed Beck’s oldest daughter, Shilo, who was a member of the school’s final graduating Grade 8 class.
“I went to school many years there—now it’s being torn down,” she reflected as the red bricks tumbled down.
Also stopping by to take photos was retired teacher Paul Fraser, who taught at Robert Moore from 1969-99.
Fraser saw the room on the second floor where he taught Grade 5 for all those years pulled down by the backhoes.
“You know, there’s a little twinge of nostalgia,” he admitted, though adding he’s more nostalgic about people, not things.