Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cowan School No. 1132 (RM of Mountain)

The Cowan School District was organized formally in July 1901 and a one-room schoolhouse (referred to locally as Cowan West School) operated at NE21-35-23-W in the Rural Municipality of Mountain. Destroyed by fire in 1949, classes were held in the teacherage until a new building could be constructed. The school closed in 1967 and the district was dissolved, its catchment area becoming part of the Intermountain School Division. The former schoolhouse was used as a granary for a time until, in 2003, it was moved into Cowan and restored for use as a private museum. A monument, dedicated on 5 August 2000, commemorates it at the original site. At the time of a 2015 site visit, the original log-walled teacherage was also present, concealed within a copse of trees.

The teachers of Cowan School were St. George E. Jefferson (1916), Gordon Bessell (1917-1918), Anton Holensky (1919), H. A. Driver (1921), Orville E. Holmes (1922), J. S. A. Thomas (1923), Ralph D. Hamilton (1924), Alfred John Wallcraft (1925), T. W. Trudeau (1926), Thomas Mackay (1927), Gertrude Wesbrooke Wishart (1928), Eva Greenberg (1929), Sara Alexander Mcleare (1930), Mabel Eileen Evenden (1931), Alfie Alena Eshoo (1932), Dmetro Zachedniak (1930-1941), Walter A. Fyk (1941-1942), Leslie Ernest Grace (1943), Mike Perchaluk (1944), Magdalene Spitz (1945), Peter Bugera (1946), George Harach (1947), Mary Pelepchuk (1948), Eleanor Overby (1949), George John Dutchession (1950), Mary Holowachuk (1951), Kay Karalach (1952), Helen Skulmoski (1953), Virginia Florence Napastiuk (1954), Walter Wasyluk (1955-1956), Melvin F. Skulmoski (1957-1958), Patricia Benson (1959), Mrs. Bliss (1960), Alex Kreshewski (1961-1966), and Lorna Hooper (1967).

Cowan School

Cowan School (no date) by J. S. Peach
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 63.

The former Cowan School building at the original site

The former Cowan School building at the original site (circa 1986)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 838.

The former Cowan School building in Cowan

The former Cowan School building in Cowan (June 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Interior of the former Cowan School building

Interior of the former Cowan School building (June 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Cowan School teacherage at the original site

The Cowan School teacherage (1958)
Source: Cowan Then and Now: 1898-2010, 2010, page 302.

The former Cowan School teacherage at the original site

The former Cowan School teacherage at the original site (June 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Cowan School commemorative monument

Cowan School commemorative monument (July 2014)
Source: Alan Mason

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N52.02689, W100.68012
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cowan Ridge School No. 2305 (RM of Mountain)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cowan River School No. 1808 (RM of Mountain)


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.

Cowan Then and Now: 1898-2010 by Cowan History Book Committee, 2010, pages 301-309, 351-353.

We thank Orest Kolisnyk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Alan Mason.

Page revised: 3 October 2023

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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