A flashback to the early days of NDSS

Napanee District Secondary School. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Elizabeth Hall
A Walk Through History

Napanee District Secondary School is older than a lot of people think. Though the present building was built in 1952, with additions in the 60s, NDSS was actually founded in 1889. It was first named Napanee District Collegiate Institute and later changed to Napanee District Secondary School in 1963 to go with the new building.

The Napanee District Collegiate Institute was, during its time, named one of the very best schools in the province. It was heated, ventilated, and had electricity for lighting throughout the whole school. The library at the time consisted of $600 worth of what were the best-selected books, containing information on every subject taught at the school. The Chemistry and Physics labs contained about $700 worth of apparatus and equipment.

The school was free to attend to all residents in the County of Lennox and Addington, but people coming in from elsewhere had to pay $4 for the autumn, $3 for the winter, and $3 for the spring.

The education was described as “good” and “commercial”, meaning they covered courses such as accounting and bookkeeping, transactions, secretarial practice, salesmanship, retailing, and marketing and advertising. These courses were meant to prepare students for examinations to get into universities. Some included a preliminary in Law, Medicine, and Civil Engineering, or School of Practical Science or Royal Military College.

During the 1940s there was also a shooting range in the basement of the school where they taught students how to shoot.


Random History Fact: from 1644 to 1660 Christmas was banned in Great Britain. Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector (Head of State) at the time, was a Puritan and thought that fun things such as celebrations, music, and dancing, were sinful and upset God.


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