Brookside school was situated on the Severn River, about seven miles east of Dundee, and only existed for eight years.
The first agitation for education in the area came in a letter to the minister dated September 1, 1881, signed by Robert Wiley, Robert Wilson, William Wilson, and James Clark seeking the establishment of a school for 30 children.
The parents had already built a schoolhouse, of 12 feet by 21 feet and the letter stressed the community was 'thus showing their anxiety and the necessity for a school'.
Barely a month later another letter signed by woolwasher John Kneipp and free selectors Frederick Kiehne, Joseph Welch, John Murray, and Hermann Hartmann was penned asking for a Provisional School for 21 pupils at Brookside on the 'Dundee Run'.
The slab building on Fred Kiehne's property was now roofed with iron.
After visiting the locality that month Inspector Bradley found that there were 24 children in the vicinity and the people 'are very anxious for their children's education and are likely to send them to school with more than the usual regularity'.
He noted that the settlers are not in good circumstances owing to heavy losses experienced and there would be some difficulty in raising the funds for the erection of a building and provision of furniture.
"Despite these concerns, Bradley selected a suitable site and recommended that a provisional school be established. He also recommended some aid to the extent of £15 or £20 be provided and if this was not practicable, then the necessary furniture be provided by the department," Lost Bush Schools of the Severn Shire, by Graham Wilson OAM, recalled.
Teacher Gustave Adolph Brandt opened the school in May 1882.
The teachers who followed him were Millie Bourke, Arabella Palfrey, Victoria Roper and finally Rebekkah Elliott.
Although Tenterfield girl Victoria Roper transferred in March 1890 to the Chandlers Peak school she married Hermann Hartmann junior 1892.
Grateful thanks to Graham Wilson OAM Glen Innes Severn Council Heritage adviser for his research.
*Provisional School definition: Areas with at least 15 and fewer than the 25 children required for a Public School, parents to provide the school building and furniture.
Teachers' salary, books and equipment were the responsibility of the Department of Education.
[Hartmann descendant and historian Joyce Bryant has an excellent Facebook page 'Dundee and District History']
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