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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Gilbert Plains School No. 630 (Municipality of Gilbert Plains)

The Gilbert Plains School District was established in February 1891 and a one-room schoolhouse was constructed at the northwest corner of SW22-24-22W in the Municipality of Gilbert Plains, on land donated by Mr. D. Cameron. It was the first school opened in the municipality. Classes began in May 1892 with James Stewart as the first teacher. By 1911, a new, larger school building was constructed, a 26 by 40 foot frame structure with brick veneer. It opened in 1912 and was used until June 1965 when it closed and the district was dissolved the following year. Its area joined the Brickburn Consolidated School District and later became part of the Intermountain School Division.

The school building was sold and stripped of its exterior bricks then moved with the intention of renovating it into a private residence. These plans were never fulfilled and instead the building was returned to its original site where it was incorporated into another residence. In 1991, a group of former students erected a monument at the site to commemorate the school as well as the first general store in the area, the Glenlyon Post Office (1890-1891), and the first Gilbert Plains Agricultural Fair (1895).

Among the teachers of Gilbert Plains School were James Stewart, A. Willey, William Shaw, Charles McKinnon, James Smellie Macdonnell (1895-1897), D. McKenzie, J. Ross, F. Fitzgerald, L. Robertson, M. Fortune, K. Kode, M. Fisher, N. Minish, M. McMillan, Effie McCaskill, D. McMillan, S. Fisher, M. McCullough, and S. Warren. Teachers in the period from 1912 to 1965 included S. Fisher, E. Whitmore, H. McDonald, G. Robinson, G. Kerr, M. Cameron, E. Tanner, J. Fortune, A. Dwyer, J. Lees, H. Anderson, D. Guthrie, W. Burton, C. Averill, P. Playford, J. Philp, E. Plant, John L. Wright (1932-1936), A. Raeside, P. Nelson, F. Berry, E. Abells, E. Edwards, M. Makowski, T. Friesen, and B. Finnen (1949-1965).

Students and teacher (James S. Macdonnell) at Gilbert Plains School

Students and teacher (James Smellie Macdonnell) at Gilbert Plains School (1896)
Source: James Harrington Rice (via Glen Gibbons)

Gilbert Plains School

Gilbert Plains School (no date) by H. L. Albright
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 99.

Gilbert Plains School commemorative monument

Gilbert Plains School commemorative monument (May 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N51.08815, W100.48387
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brickburn Consolidated School No. 998 (Gilbert Plains, Municipality of Gilbert Plains)


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.

Country Schools of Gilbert Plains by Barry Randell, 2006.

We thank Ed Arndt, Keven Van Camp, Nathan Kramer, James Harrington Rice, and Glen Gibbons for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 November 2019

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