Totem Pole Tales- Rainey Lake School
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook January 17, 2014

Caption #1:  STANDING IN FRONT of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Margaret Beatway is the teacher.
Jerry Browning is the little boy in the front.  Margaret Browning is in the back row on the far right.
width="800" Caption #2: THE RAINEY LAKE SCHOOL in 1916. Left to right are, Jerry and Jeannie Below, and Aubrey Browning.
width="800" The Rainey Lake School is in Section 9, T.33 N R3E. It sits at the corner of Storms Road and Highway 634. This school was built by Frank Houghmaster and still stands today. It is privately owned as a hunting camp. This school closed in 1940.
In 1915 Ed Walters was the director, Mark Trafelet was the moderator, and Ike Devitt was the treasurer. Some of the teachers were, Betty Freel, Viola Houghmaster, Ruth Trafelet, Ester Storms, Dorothy Storms, Helen Ennes, Margaret Beatway, Marvel Sitzes, Margaret Browning, Nina Smith, Mary Payer, Wilda Wright and Louie Steele.
Some of the students we find were Jerry and Margaret Browning, the Trafelet children, the Walters children, the Rogers children, Bob and Ralph Winn, Bob Bonner, Marie Storms, Glen, Hazel and Don Rogers, Floyd, Leslie, Ida and Ellie Wildey, Ralph Freel, Ruth Harrington, Myrtle and Harry Vernon, and Ted, Mary and Helen Skinner.
The following notes come from an interview with Margaret Browning.
Around the 1920s teachers' pay was $40 per month. A new horse and buggy could be bought for $40. In the springtime the children and teacher would go down by a large beaver dam and eat their lunch and play. The Ron Kovell's have a home there now.
During the winter the Rainey Lake School would visit the Cement School and vise versa on special occasions, like Valentine's Day. One of the parents would hitch up his team to a sleigh filled with straw and take all the students, teachers and parents to the other school to spend the day visiting, playing games, having contests and pulling taffy.
The teachers would cook up a batch of taffy, pour it in a large platter then cool it out in the snow until it was ready to pull. The one who pulled the whitest taffy won the prize.
On the last day of school in 1938 Margaret Beatway took her Rainey Lake Students and their parents to visit Mackinac Island.
--Onaway Outlook January 17, 2014 pg. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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