Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax and Its People / 1749-1999

"Industrial School, Quinpool Road, Halifax", ca. 1880

This building, designed by Henry F. Busch, first opened to residents in 1871. In 1880,thirty-eight boys resided in the Halifax Protestant Industrial School, which had been founded in1867 to provide basic vocational training for truant and wayward boys from the local community. The regimen also included eight hours of rudimentary general education a week, since many boys could not read or write when admitted. Although the school's 1880 Report gave glowing accounts regarding the progress of many "inmates", the report began by stating, with true Victorian earnestness, that "The material given us to work upon is invariably of the roughest description, and therefore the best adapted to our purposes, being chiefly boys sent by the Stipendiary, or such as have passed beyond parental control." Many of the boys were taught boot and shoemaking in Amos A. Bliss's workshop [Bliss advertised in McAlpine's Halifax City Directory, 1879-80, as a "manufacturer of and dealer in all kinds of handmade boots and shoes" at 96 Gottingen Street].Others cleaned carpets and cut kindling wood. In 1880 the boys earned $1434.73 for the school: $889.92 from Mr. Bliss for their work, $403.11 from the sale of kindling, $137.70 for cleaning carpets, and $4.00 for "drumming" broom handles.

Photographer: W. Chase

Date: ca. 1880

Reference: United Church of Canada. Committee on Archives Nova Scotia Archives 1975-194 no. 24  / neg. no.: N-4910

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