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Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 143 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Darlingford School No. 1228 / Darlingford School Heritage Museum (Darlingford, Municipality of Pembina)

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

As early as 1905, the Manitoba Department of Education was experimenting with consolidation to better serve local communities and students. It was thought that a bigger and better equipped school, in a centralized location, provided better education. Darlingford Consolidated School No. 1228, in the village of Darlingford in the Municipality of Pembina, is an example of those developments. Built in 1910 on a design by Winnipeg architect Frank Robert Evans, allegedly used locally-made bricks, the entrance tower is notably off-centre so that, as the school enrollment grew, another wing would be added on the south side of the building. That never happened at Darlingford. The building features a rare fire escape system off the second floor at the rear.

The smaller rural schools consolidated at Darlingford included Lorne School No. 56, Darlington School No. 79, Middleton School No. 404, Calf Mountain School No. 489, Barclay School No. 657, Point Douglas Consolidated School No. 1475, and Rosyth School No. 2030. The school operated continuously until 1984 when, due to low student enrollment, it closed.

A commemorative marker elsewhere in Darlingford denotes the site of the building which preceded the present structure, which operated there from 1903 to 1910.

The former school building is now home for the Darlingford School Heritage Museum, a municipally-designated heritage site (1987). Open during summer months, tours can be arranged by calling Patrick Thiessen at 204-823-0626 or Betty Hamilton at 204-246-2307.





Ruth Crossland and Rose Crossland


Richard A. Fines (1871-1966)


Mr. McCormick


Miss Robinson


George Gordon Grigg (1887-1969)


William George Smith (1873-1943)


George Henry Blackwell (1864-1941)


John Bruce Day (1902-1955)


Willard Ervin Rife (1890-1970)


Cecil Harold Barkley (1908-1979)


John Franklin Morrison (1910-1984)


John Henry Doughty (c1900-1958)


Mrs. Laura Gall


Oliver Glen Olmstead (?-1997)


Allen Thiessen


Douglas Wayne Kroetsch


Deirdre Lee Lyons Lumgair


Mrs. Brooks


Jake Martens


Jake Letkeman


Ray Mutcheson


Shayla Levin


Among the teachers who worked at Darlingford School through the years were Miss Brown (1925), Ina Lee (1925), and Leona Duncan (1925).

Photos & Coordinates

The original Darlingford School

The original Darlingford School (circa 1911)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspector Photos GR2664, C65.

Darlingford Consolidated School

Darlingford Consolidated School (circa 1911)
Source: Consolidation of Rural Schools in Manitoba, Special Report of the Department of Education for the Year 1912, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Darlingford School

Darlingford School (no date) by G. G. Neufeld
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 81.

Students and a pair of student vans in front of Darlingford School

Students and a pair of student vans in front of Darlingford School (no date)
Source: Rob McInnes, MN0591

Darlingford School

Darlingford School (August 1967)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Architectural Survey - Darlingford 36.

The former Darlingford Consolidated School building

The former Darlingford Consolidated School building (2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The rear of the Darlingford School building, showing its unique fire escape

The rear of the Darlingford School building, showing its unique fire escape (2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Darlingford School commemorative sign at N49.20716, W98.37575

Darlingford School commemorative sign at N49.20716, W98.37575 (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.20519, W98.38053
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Darlingford Brick and Tile Company


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

Darlingford Consolidated School, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch

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.

A Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.

The Darlingford Saga II, 1870-1970, 1970-1999 by the Darlingford Centennial Book Committee, 1999.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

We thank Ken Jacobs, Ed Grassick, Rob McInnes, Bob Jordan, and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 January 2022

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