Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bagot School / Elsmith School No. 648 (Municipality of North Norfolk)
The Elsmith School District was established formally in what is now the Municipality of North Norfolk, and a one-room schoolhouse was built in the northeast quarter of 2-12-9W, on land donated by Joseph Martin. Originally named Bagot School, a wood frame structure was built at a cost of $620. It opened in May 1891 with Miss Margaret Patterson as the first teacher. When Bagot School No. 1204 was constructed in the village of Bagot in 1902, this school was renamed Elsmith in commemoration of two pioneering families in the area, the Elliotts and the Smiths.
The original school building was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1911. Over the years, student enrollment varied from six to 51. Due to consolidation, Elsmith School closed in 1966, with students going to Portage and MacGregor schools. The building, sold for use as a church, was dismantled in 1982. A monument was placed at this site on 25 July 1992.
The teachers who worked at Elsmith School included Margaret Patterson, Joe Livingston, Ina Gourlay, J. B. Anderson, H. A. McMillan, Clara Elliott, Helen Bate, Sadie H. Lundy, Hazel Kitson, Pearl Charlton, Eva Johnston, Lena Davey, Maude M. Campbell, Mabel Prout, Minnie Dalziel, Ella Jean Martin, Margaret Kerr, M. McKinstry, Pearl Crealock, Jessie S. Laurie, Catherine Ritchie, Jean Kerr, Winnifred Woods, E. May Tidsberry, Hazel Gorham, Iona Lounsbury, Pat Lovell, Gladys Lounsbury, Florence McKay, Elsie Allen, Bertha M. Shields, Miss Gorrie, Mary Forsyth, Margaret Lamont, Jean Blair, Gladys McKinley, Mary Isabel Morris, Jean Ziegler, Vida Dring, Lilley Humiski, Lola Coltart, Alice Goldsborough Beck, Dorothy Thompson Crealock, Elsie Black, Audrey Gemmell, Wilda Beam, Elvira Hamm, Joanne Voesenek, and Dalton Gilbert.
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 901.
Rural Schools of Portage la Prairie School Division #24 by Muriel Wright, 1996.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 February 2021