Simcoe High School, 1931-32
Last updated: 16 Oct 2017
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The original photo is the property of researcher Kevin McKibbon of Simcoe, Norfolk County, who purchased it framed at a flea market in Port Dover, Norfolk County,  a few years ago.
 
Despite being framed, the photo shows signs of age, which is obvious on a few of our enlargements. The original print measures approximately 6 inches by 30 inches. There are approximate 285 people in the picture, which appears to have been taken in the fall of 1931.

The photographer was Powell of Hamilton, who presumably got the assignment because local photographers did not have a camera capable of panning across such a large group. Panned group pictures of this type remained a photographer's specialty into the 1960s across much of Ontario. Text written on the face of the print reads: 
"Simcoe High School, 1931-2" then 
"J. E. Skeele, B.A., Prin." then 
"Powell, Hamilton."
Two names are written on the back in pencil: "George Jackson" and "Grey [Moaldery]."

The Roaring Twenties were over, the Depression was well entrenched, and World War II wasn't yet on the horizon when this picture was taken.

Simcoe High, which would later be known as Simcoe District High School, then Simcoe Composite School, was at the time, Norfolk's largest high school. While your Norfolk ancestors may have attended high school in another community, Simcoe High served the surrounding rural population. Students from a distance carpooled for the most part or traveled by train. (At least one came by horse and buggy and is remembered for going out to feed her horse at noon.) 
 
At the time this photo was taken, Ontario high school education consisted of five grades, (called Forms), equivalent to grades 9 through 13. Typically students would have started high school at approximately age 13 and graduated five years later, age 17/18, so the students in this photo would have been born between approximately 1912 and 1917.
 

 
Copyright 2003-2017 John Cardiff