Rob roy School/osprey museum
Built 1889 by Osprey Township
634632 Pretty River Road
The village is named for Rob Roy McGreggor (1671-1734), a highland chief known as the Scottish Robin Hood, who was known as either a hero or a villain depending upon your own clan loyalties. The first Rob Roy School, built in 1881, burned under mysterious circumstances in the spring of 1889. A tramp sleeping there overnight may have caused the fire, but missing poultry from nearby farms indicates that a late-night chicken roast may be closer to the truth. Student delight was short-lived, as school quickly reconvened in Thomas Freethy’s hot blacksmith shop which meant sitting on backless benches until the present building was completed in the fall of the same year. In 1965 the school was declared surplus and the community pooled resources to purchase it for a community activities center.
Balanced classical proportion is enhanced by attractive and fairly unique brick-work in rust red with contrasting yellow brick in solid corner quoins and textured vousoirs above elegant door and window “fan lights”. Contrasting pilasters and an ornate frieze emphasize over-all design harmony. The symmetry of the structure is complemented by identical proportions and motifs in the vestibule. Complex stepped brickwork supports eaves and gable end of the roof. The school bell in the cupola will still ring. This fine building is recognized as one of the best preserved heritage school houses in the province.
As in most rural villages, the school played an important part in the life of the entire community. School Fairs in the 1920s later turned into Field Days. Christmas Concerts were an annual event, except in 1925 when an epidemic of measles closed the school until late January. In 1967, a long-time resident who was asked for memories of this school claimed he’d spent his life trying to forget. Perhaps he was one of the more than 80 students kept in line by “Ferrier the Brute”, who daily cut fresh willow switches. Today Osprey Museum offers many activities and events to enhance the fabric of life in both Rob Roy and nearby Feversham. A more recently constructed shed houses a large display of antique farm equipment.