The School
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The Crocus Plains School 

The Zinn children attended a one room school called Crocus Plains. This room contained about 30 pupils who were in grades 1 to 9. As many as 7 Zinns were in this room at one time. They usually went to school by horse and buggy, but sometimes they walked the 2 miles (3.2 km). In winter, Jack or Sheldon would take them to school and then return again to bring them home. Each child had their separate lunch, which was packed in a jam tin.


This is the
Crocus Plains school.
Photo probably taken
around 1965.

The children played hopscotch, red light green light, anti-i-over (over the barn), and in the winter they made a pie like shape in the snow and played fox and goose. In the spring, at lunch time, they took cans of water out into the field and drowned gophers. Baseball was played in the middle of the school yard. Helen, Gladys, Roxy, and Lyla would often join the boys in a game of mixed baseball.

After the last day of school, they had a sports day in the school yard. Families would come to have a picnic, play horseshoes, and have a game of baseball. A ball team would often come over from the Keystone School to have a game.

school yard in 1985

This is the school yard in about 1985. The Zinn farm is in the centre of this photo, on the horrizon.

In those days, girls always wore a dress to school. Gladys recalls wearing the same striped, black and white dress for the entire winter. Every weekend it was washed and pressed so it would be ready for another week of wear. The dress was complimented with long black itchy wool stockings.

At noon hour, Miss Weir, a young teacher, would get pushed and pulled by her students in a democrat (a buggy pulled by 2 horses). The students would push it into the ditch and pretend they could not get her out. They would all be late getting back to school.

People from the surrounding districts came to Crocus Plains for gatherings such as church on Sundays, occasional parties, the Christmas concert, the June picnic at the end of the school year, and the Friday night dances. Music for the dances was supplied by people in the community. There was Ethel Hughes on piano, Art de Young with his violin, and Charlie Meyers on the drums.


'89 dance

This is a 1989 example of a country dance
which was put on by one of Jack and Lou's grandchildren.


Myrtle Smithstead was the teacher at Lola May School (she is in the photo below), which was located about 4 miles north of the Bowie farm. One cold winter night, she went to a Friday night dance at the Crocus Plains School. She decided to keep her radiator water warm by draining it from her car and pouring it into a big pot on the kitchen stove.

Later in the evening, the ladies in the kitchen were pleased to find that somebody had already heated the water. They made coffee. Nobody liked it! Everybody sat around, sipped at their coffee, and complained that it was too bitter. When Myrtle was getting ready to go home, she discovered why the coffee was so bitter. It took quite awhile to gather some snow and melt it to fill her radiator.


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