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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Austin School No. 154 (Austin, Municipality of North Norfolk)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Maps | Sources

The Austin School District was established formally in May 1884 and it began operation the next year. A school building was located about one and a half miles southeast of the present village of Austin, in the Rural Municipality of North Norfolk. In 1891, a one-room schoolhouse was built in Austin. It was replaced in 1905 by a two-storey, two-classroom brick building, built on a design by Brandon architect W. N. Lailey.

The school had expanded to three classrooms by 1923 and another room was added in 1931. The school expanded again in the 1950s with another classroom, with a teaching staff of eight. A new collegiate building to house students in higher grades was opened in September 1960, built by the Harper Construction Company on a design by architects Libling, Michener and Associates. It became a consolidated school when, in 1965, it merged with rural schools from the surrounding vicinity: Forestville School No. 656, Norfolk School No. 897, Orangeville School No. 1011, Ravenshoe School No. 1261, and Springbrook School No. 566. The consolidated school became part of the Pine Creek School Division in 1968.

The old brick school closed in June 1974, having accommodated students in kindergarten to grade 6 for the last six years of its operation. The building was demolished later that year. During demolition, the building caught fire and burned. A monument, constructed by John Seaman (whose wife Marjorie had taught at the school), was erected on the former school site around 1980. It was replaced by a plaque affixed to a boulder in 2015.

Principals

Period

Principal

1894-1895

W. J. Pine

1896-1905

?

1906

Henry Johnston “Harry” Everall (1877-1933)

1907-1920

?

1921-1923

Jean M. Avery

1923-1924

James Thomas Hulme (1864-1938)

1924-1927

Ida Christine Graham (1901-1982)

1927-1929

Robert MacLaren Keswick (1894-1938)

1929-1931

Keith Alexander Booth

1931-1937

William Fogel (1903-1991)

1937-1939

David S. Shellenberg (?-?)

1939-1941

Walter G. Crane

1941-1946

Frederick James Hall (1892-1977)

1946-1962

Clarence Earl Cole (1895-1970)

1962

Mr. Backewich

1962-1963

Menno R. Hamm

1963-1964

Peter Frederick Kutcher (1918-2013)

1964-1965

Marguerite A. Willis

1965-1967

Mrs. Gertrude Tait

Principals (Austin Collegiate)

Period

Principal

1960-1962

Clarence E. Cole

1962

Mr. Backewich

1962-1963

Menno R. Hamm

1963-1964

Peter Frederick Kutcher (1918-2013)

1964-1965

Marguerite A. Willis

1965-1968

Maurice Wesley “Moe” Cryderman (1909-1991)

1968-1970

C. Hamelynck

1970-1971

W. Nylin

1971-1973

Glen Lowe

Teachers

Other teachers who worked at Austin School through the years included: Miss Baird (1884), Mrs. William Cairns (1884), D. W. Broadfoot (1885), Caroline Sparling (1886), Lauchlin McQuarrie (1887-1888), Margaret Campbell (1889), Maggie Van Alstein (1894), W. J. Pine (1894-1895), W. A. Ross (1894-1898), Margaret E. Buchanan (1895-1899), Edna A. Oliver (1897), W. I. D. Lathwell (1898-1899), Flora E. Wilson (1899-1901), Neil Livingstone (1899-1900), Frank H. Belton (1900-1901), Grace E. Smale (1901), Albert E. Smith (1905), Olive M. Oswald (1905-1906), Chester C. McClellan (1906), Henry J. Everall (1906-1910), Frances H. Creighton (1906-1907), Laura J. Ronrig (1908-1909), Kate S. Ball (1909-1910), James Cameron (1910-1912), Gertrude Macdougall (1910-1914), Kathleen Johnson (1913-1914), Robert Williamson (1914-1915), Cordelia Mackay (1914), M. A. Dixon (1915), Grace Huntley (1915-1916), Edith Andrew (1915-1916), Arthur E. Cooke (1916-1917), Anna Stewart (1916-1917), L. C. Anderson (1917), Myrtle McQueen (1917-1918), L. Baldwin (1917), Ethel Collier (1917-1918), Miss McIntosh (1918-1920), Edith L. Cusack (1920-1921), Dorothy Mutch (1920-1921), F. E. Bowsfield (1920-1921), Jean M. Avery (1921-1923), Edith Gair (1921-1922), E. Birch (1921), Mary R. Russell (1921-1922), Olive Erickson (1922-1924), Alice M. Pieper (1923-1924), Ida C. Graham (1924-1927), Wilfrid G. Booth (1924-1927), Frances M. Jones (1924-1926), Mary C. Campbell (1926-1927), Mary Cameron Cowan (1928-1938), Mary I. Morris (1928-1933), Keith Alexander Booth (1929-1931), Peter M. Livingstone (1933-1937), Phyllis C. Mitchell (1936-1937), John L. Holmes (1937-1938), Audrey M. Poyser (1937-1943, 1947-1948), Barbara Anna Robinson (1938-1942), Dorothy P. Fraser (1938-1939), Jean Gertrude Lennox (1939), Hannah Margaret Robinson (1939-1940), Eleanor Lavinea Brown (1941), Anita O. Heim (1942-1944), Margaret Anderson (1943), Jane Frances Fillmore BA (1943), Thelma Rose I. Osman (1943-1946), Margaret Mary Brown (1943-1947), Alice P. Hardisty (1944-1945), Irene Rosemary Feher (1945), Eva Eileen Duncan (1945), Roland Gauntron (1946), Lois M. Harkness (1947), Jean D. Hotel (1948), Peter Black (1948-1951), Gerald Lionel Kuran (1949-1950), Lydia P. Harvey (1948-1950), Wilma Stock (1950), Patricia Duncan (1951-1954), Mary J. Roy (1951), Mary Stimpson (1952-1953), Doreen Miller (1952-1953), Sheena H. Williams (1953-1955), Robena S. Lowe (1953-1954), Edith Cronk (1954-1955), L. W. Stephens (1954-1955), A. J. Polz (1954-1955), Leona D. Riddell (1955-1956), Kathleen A. Dennis (1955-1957), Gilbert E. Brown (1955-1959), B. Trudeau (1955-1956), Christina Whyte (1956), John Naherney (1956), Mrs. Marjorie E. Seaman (1956-1960), C. Joan Whyte (1957-1959), G. Raymer (1957-1959), Nancy A. Wilson (1958-1961), Marguerite Willis (1958-1960), Norma Jorgenson (1959-1960), Myrna Peck Williams (1959-1965), Gertrude Tait (1959-1962), Ralph Rabinovitch (1959-1960), Marjorie E. Manns (1960-1964), Anne Zamrykut (1961-1962), Eunice Stephenson (1961-1962), Grace H. Hay (1962-1965), Beryl E. Dennis (1962-1965), Margaret M. Peacock (1962-1964), Miss Graham (1964), Glen Lowe (1964-1965), Gertrude McGregor (1964-1965), Miss Mary Jane Brewster (1965), Miss Karen Armstrong (1965), Miss Marlene Dilk (1965).

Photos & Maps

Austin School

Postcard of Austin School (no date)
Source: Walter Beatty

Austin School

Postcard of Austin School (1920s) by Charles I. Meyers
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 53.

Austin School

Austin School (1967)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Architectural Survey - Austin 7.

Austin School

John Seaman with his newly-built model of Austin School (July 1985)
Source: Jacquie Jones

Austin School

Austin School monument at the site of the original building (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Austin School

The replacement Austin School monument (November 2015)
Source: Neil Christoffersen

Site Location (lat/long): N49.94884, W98.93258
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

“The Indian famine fund,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 March 1897, page 4.

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

A Rear View Mirror: A History of the Austin and Surrounding Districts by Anne M. Collier, Altona: Friesen Printing, 1967.

One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.

Through Fields and Dreams: A History of the Rural Municipality of North Norfolk and MacGregor by The History Book Committee of the North Norfolk-MacGregor Archives, 1998, page 840.

We thank Neil Christoffersen, Jacquie Jones, Nathan Kramer, and Gordon Booth for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 October 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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

Browse lists of:
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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.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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