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Home > Discover Central Huron > CNR School on Wheels Museum > History


In 1926, Clinton natives, teacher Fred Sloman accompanied by his wife, Cela, set off on an innovative school railcar program, designed to bring education to isolated northern familes in the bush. Up to this point in time, most northern children received no education.

A CNR railcar was converted into a classroom with living quarters in the back half to accommodate the Slomans and their 5 children. The Sloman railcar became 1 of 7 school cars used in the north over a 41 year period (1926-1967).

In 1965, after 39 years, the Slomans retired to live in Clinton. The school car was also retired from the school railcar program. Over time, technological changes on the railway led to a huge decrease in railway personnel and more permanent schools were built. This resulted in a reduced school car student population and ultimately in the program's demise.

In 1982, the school car, damaged by fire and vandalism, was located by the Slomans who convinced the Town of Clinton to purchase it. The railcar arrived in Clinton that fall to its new home, in the Sloman Memorial Park, where it was gradually restored to its orginal state through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.

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