Totem Pole Tales-Shaloy-Tomahawk Creek School 1906
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook June 1, 2012

Caption: SHALOY SCHOOL 1906. Back row, from left, Millie (Milligan) Benham, Mabel Varco, Ethel Benham, Mary Robinson,
teacher Kitty O'Neal, Margaret Varco, Lois Snooks and Ray Milligan.  Front row, from left, Leslie Milligan, (?), 
Charlie Varco, Joe Shaloy, Mary Robinson's sister, Wilson "Nibs" Milligan, Maude (McGillis) Russell, Julia Snooks
and (?) Robinson. 
width="600" As you look at this week's picture, you need to take note of the snow on the school steps. It matches the students quite well. Some of the girls have their hands clasped and have a hurry up with the picture look on their faces while some of the boys have their hands in their pockets keeping them warm.
Also take note of the high-button boots and shoes. The teachers certainly did not have to worry about a dress code here, as the children are all properly dressed.
This school still sits at the intersection of Six Mile Hwy. and M-33. (T.33N.-R.2E.) It is a private residence with a well maintained lawn and certainly a nice piece of our school history that is well kept.
My space limits the listing of every teacher and student but I find that I must name a few of the families that showed up several times. The are the Benhams, Robinsons, Snooks, Varcos, Stoners, Lambersons, Ervinghams, Milligans, Shaloys and Rogers. Two of the teachers were the late Cassie (Erratt) Minser and our good neighbor Ruth (Rogers) Szymoniak. Ruth was the last teacher there in 1951-1952 before the school was closed and everyone went to Onaway.
Cassie told of a bad storm that plugged the road at Merritt's Hill. A rotary plow was brought in from Rogers City. Cassie let the kids watch out the school windows, as most of them had never seen the plow work before. Cassie notes that it took most of the morning to break the road open.
Ruth tell of taking the whole class (10 students) to Mackinaw City and riding to St. Ignace on the icebreaker Mackinaw, when the ship was quite new. Another teacher tells of Bob Bowles and Harold Frieberger coming every day to play ball with the kids. They were too old to be in school but needed something to do.
Records show that Charlie Ervingham was the janitor and supplied all of the wood for winter. About 200 yards east of the school on the north side of the road is a bubbling spring where many families used to get their water. This writer has stopped there many times on my way to Tomahawk or Shoepac to swim.
-Onaway Outlook, June 1, 2012, p.3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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