Each girl had a space in a locker where
she kept what few possessions she had. My mother still has her hand-embroidered pocketed holder for brush and comb and small items.
It was made for her by her grandmother Maud Crist.
Along with their regular school classes,
the girls learned necessary life skills: sewing, cooking, cleaning, gardening. The school was surrounded by a farm and the girls tended a garden, helped in the kitchen,
dusted and cleaned, and learned about ‘the birds and bees’ by watching the farm animals. They attended a small church down the road. They always ate
well and had treats donated by the Mars Candy Company, Silver Cup bread and other foods from outside sponsors.
Grammar School aged girls were taught
at the Judy School location, supervised by the Vermilion County Public School System.
Girls stayed at Judy School until they were 18. High school-aged girls
rode a bus into town, Potomac, for classes. High school aged girls were allowed
to date, and some of them married at the school and started their new lives.
The girls thought it was very romantic
when Supervisor, Ms. Faye Corner went on vacation and met a handsome man from Canada named Cossairt. When they married, the girls got to attend their wedding.
My mother remembers cleaning and polishing
the curved wooden staircase to the right of the double entrance doors.
The kitchen and dining room were in
the large basement of the building. Helping in the kitchen was a favorite chore
assignment. When they helped make bread they would pocket the small pieces and
use them to feed the birds. They would sneak out onto the fire escape on the
left side of the school and toss the crumbs out and watch the birds.
The main floor had a reception area
and Supervisor’s office on the left, with a large classroom behind it. On
the right was the Library.
They slept in the dormitory rooms and
rooms for the older girls upstairs.
This is a tiny photo (above) of
my mother Katherine Mathieu and her mother Mabel Mathieu at 8th grade graduation,
taken on the grounds of the Judy School.
(I am named Judy – after
the Judy School.)"