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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Industrial Training School / Manitoba Home for Boys / Agassiz Youth Centre (Crescent Road East, Portage la Prairie)

Link to:
Superintendents | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Between 1908 and 1909, a four-storey stone and brick building, designed by provincial architect Samuel Hooper, was constructed by the Snyder Brothers on the edge of the Portage la Prairie, beside Crescent Lake, as a home for the Industrial Training School. Modeled on the Minnesota Training School at Red Wing, Minnesota, the facility opened its doors in February 1910 with the transfer to its custody of 20 boys from the Central District Gaol. It was intended as a facility to deal with “juvenile delinquents” and others by giving them work-related training, with instruction in tailoring, shoe-making, gardening, carpentry, blacksmithing, baking, cooking, farming, and sewing. Later, other buildings were added nearby, some of which still remain at the site. In 1931, it was renamed the Manitoba Home for Boys. During the Second World War, the site was taken over by the Canadian military, forcing the staff and boys to move to temporary quarters at Carman. They returned after the war. Known as the Agassiz Youth Centre since 1977, the 59-acre site is operated by the Manitoba government as a youth correctional centre for young offenders.

Superintendents

Period

Principal

1909-1912

Wellington Bridgman (1853-1922)

1912-1915

John Weir (1867-1959)

1915-1923

Findlay William McKinnon (1879-1957)

1923-1925

Hugh Duncan Cumming (1879-1942)

1925-1926

Edgar Wood

1926-1948

Harry Atkinson (1882-1968)

1948-1967

Bruce D. Jones

1967-?

Raymond G. Atkinson

?-c1975

Terrance Rempel

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of the Industrial Training School

Postcard view of the Industrial Training School (circa 1911)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2013-0116

View of the Industrial Training School

View of the Industrial Training School (circa 1915) by James W. Jarrett
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Portage la Prairie - Provincial - Industrial School for Boys 5, N14227

View of the Industrial Training School

View of the Industrial Training School (no date)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Portage la Prairie - Provincial - Industrial School for Boys 3, N14987

One of the remaining, older buildings at the Agassiz Youth Centre having new cedar roofing installed

One of the remaining, older buildings at the Agassiz Youth Centre having new cedar roofing installed (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

One of the remaining, older buildings at the Agassiz Youth Centre

One of the remaining, older buildings at the Agassiz Youth Centre (July 2019)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.96540, W98.28236
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

The Early Years of the Manitoba Home for Boys (Portage la Prairie), 1889-1948 by Cameron Harvey. Winnipeg: The Author, 2010. [Manitoba Legislative Library, HV 9110 .P6M3 Har]

Portage la Prairie, 1870-1970 by Anne M. Collier, Portage la Prairie, 1970, page 250.

We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 September 2019

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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