Historic Sites of Manitoba: Birtle Consolidated School No. 132 (Birtle, Municipality of Prairie View)

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

The Birtle Consolidated School was established in Birtle, in December 1911, from the consolidation of Birtle School No. 132 with Blenheim School No. 173 and Gnanton School No. 715. It occupied a two-storey stone structure, built in 1882-1883 that was later leased to the federal government for use as an Indian School. It was replaced by a two-storey structure, known locally as the “Blue School.” Starting in 1917, high school classes were held in an old Methodist Church until a four-classroom brick school was built in 1928. The Blue School was destroyed by fire in the September 1943. Elementary classes were moved to the Town Hall, Brick High School, and Courtroom until four rooms and an auditorium could be added to the Brick High School in early 1949. Increases in student enrollment caused overcrowding so, in 1956, a four-classroom North School was built. Later consolidated brought the students of the former Burdette School No. 163 (1959), Oxford School No. 257 (1961), Buckleyville School No. 1435 (1964), and Rothesay School No. 350 (1967).

The Birtle School Board disbanded when, in January 1968, the district became part of the Birdtail River School Division. Under the School Division Board, the buildings of the former Beulah School No. 162 and Isabella School No. 1333 were brought to Birtle for use at the site of the Brick School.





Felton Strudwicke [Strudwick] Chapman (1864-1936)


Charles Morley Vanstone (1870-1953)


Archibald Reuben Tingley (1871-1938)




Daniel Armenius Wickware (1861-1917)


David Bruce Huggins (1879-1855)


Francis Henry “Frank” Belton (1869-1936)


William Edgar Pye (1858-1946)


William Joseph Cram (1861-1940)


James Humphrey Plewes (1873-1963)


Annie Smith


Clara M. Robinson


Rufus Freeman Meadows (1879-1962)


Arthur E. Hensley


Howard Robert Haines (1891-1974)


W. C. Jones


Edward Sandford Lord (1869-1922)


James Ogel Beckstead (1883-1985)


Hazel D. Manwaring


Norman Robson (1900-1978)


Peter S. Buhr (?-?)


Clarence Eric Tibbatts (1904-1979)


Harvey C. Kingdon




Robert Henry Marshall (?-?)

Principals (Birtle Collegiate)




Albert Parnetta

Vice-Principals (Birtle Collegiate)




Allan Bray


Among the other teachers who worked at Birtle School through the years were Alexander Noble (1934-1936), Marshall Hall-Jones, Miss D. Finkbeiner, Miss M. Woods, Mrs. M. S. Williamson, J. McLennan, Grace E. Menzies, and Catherine Bunten Makepeace.

School Year



Francis Henry “Frank” Belton (senior grades, Fall), Gertrude Dutton (Fall), David Bruce Huggins (senior grades, Spring), Isobel B. Scott, Mabel Yeandle (Spring)


Francis Henry “Frank” Belton (senior grades, Spring), Gertrude Dutton, Blanche McDonald [Macdonald?] (Fall), Celie? Pelton (Spring), William Edgar Pye (senior grades, Fall), Isobel B. Scott (Spring)


William Joseph Cram (Fall), Gertrude Dutton (Spring), Blanche Macdonald [McDonald?], Herbert Hanford “Harry” McIntosh (Spring), William Edgar Pye (Fall), Winifred “Winnie” Richardson


Annie B. Couch (Fall), William Joseph Cram (senior grades, Spring), Mabel M. Hawken? (Fall), Olive M. Oswald (Spring), James Humphrey Plewes (senior grades, Fall), Winifred “Winnie” Richardson (Spring)


Annie B. Couch, Mabel M. Harken?, James Humphrey Plewes (senior grades)


Annie B. Couch (Spring), S. Gertrude Dowkin? (Fall), Mabel M. Harken? (Spring), James Humphrey Plewes (senior grades), Della A. Robinson (Fall)


S. Gertrude Dowkin?, James Humphrey Plewes (senior grades, Spring), Della A. Robinson (Spring), Annie Smith (senior grades, Fall), Kathleen Wooster (Fall)


(January-June only): S. Gertrude Dowkin?, Clara M. Robsinson (senior grades), Kathleen Wooster


Ellen Graham, Rufus Freeman Meadows (senior grades), Kathleen Wooster




Mrs. Leone Dale, Mrs. Bernice Hodgson, Mr. Albert Parnetta, Miss Evelyn Preston, Mr. Ray Simms

Photos & Coordinates

The “Blue School” of Birtle Consolidated School

The “Blue School” of Birtle Consolidated School (circa 1912)
Source: Consolidation of Rural Schools in Manitoba, Special Report of the Department of Education for the Year 1912, Manitoba Legislative Library.

The old Birtle School building, seen here in the 1920s, was extensively damaged by fire in September 1943

The old Birtle School building, seen here in the 1920s, was extensively damaged by fire in September 1943, by G. W. Bartlett
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 45.

The old Birtle School building

The old Birtle School building (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2015-0052

Students beside the newly-constructed “Brick School” of Birtle Consolidated School

Students beside the newly-constructed “Brick School” of Birtle Consolidated School (circa 1929)
Source: Education Department Report, 1929, Manitoba Legislative Library.

The newly-constructed “Brick School” of Birtle Consolidated School

The newly-constructed “Brick School” of Birtle Consolidated School (no date) by G. W. Bartlett
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 45.

Birtle School

Birtle School (no date)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, George Harris Fonds, Acc. 1979-141, P7454, Album 21, Page 91.

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.41939, W101.04216
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Birtle Indian Residential School (Birtle, Municipality of Prairie View)


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

“Birtle, Man,” Western Canada Fire Underwriters’ Association map, September 1911, Archives of Manitoba.

Birtle school fire, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 September 1943, page 3.

“Council reports,” Birtle Eyewitness, 3 October 1961, page 10.

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.

“Trustees conduct regular meeting,” Hamiota Echo, 13 September 1988, page 7.

Summative half-yearly returns for school districts (A 0051), GR0571, Archives of Manitoba.

School division half-yearly attendance reports (E 0757), Archives of Manitoba.

We thank Nathan Kramer and Drew Makepeace for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 March 2024

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