site was created to pay homage to a school which still holds a very
special place in the hearts of all who attended. That school is
William Ross Elementary.
Ross Elementary was the starting point of education for the
communities of Sunset Acres, Cherry Brook, MacLaughlin Rd., Riley
Rd., Westphal Trailer Park, homes along #7 Highway and eventually
Humber Park. The school taught grades primary through to grade six.
William Ross Elementary was
built on the site where St. John's Anglican Church once stood.
The surrounding land was more commonly known as Long Swamp. The church, which was situated where the baseball
field is today (center field),
was destroyed by a forest fire in 1849. This location was the second of 3
St. John's church locations. (The first church located around Crane
Hill and the third location is currently on the corner of
the #7 highway and Lake Major Road)
second location remained undeveloped for many years
following the fire. Until the 1940's, the only evidence of the
former church was the cemetery. The Municipality of the County of Halifax
wanted to have a school to serve the surrounding communities and
wanted to buy this piece of land to build on. However, for St.
John's Anglican Church to sell the land, the Bishop of Nova Scotia
had to approve the sale. Approval
for the sale of the land was eventually granted with one stipulation;
there must be a sign mounted on the school indicating that it was
built on the site where a church once stood. The sale of the land
carried through and the William Ross School was built in 1961. By
that time, there was nothing visible of the old cemetery. A short
time later, during a highway improvement project, some of the
gravesites were uncovered near the school and the remains were moved to a final
From 1980 to it's closing
in 1985, grades primary to three were then sent to Humber Park
Elementary, leaving grades 4 - 6 at William Ross. The building still
stands today and now serves the community as City Heights Church.
This site is still under
construction and I hope it will grow through the sharing of stories
and pictures from former students.
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