MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Grass Marsh School No. 2062 (Municipality of Glenella-Lansdowne)

The Grass Marsh School District was established formally in May 1921, using parts of the districts of Falmouth School No. 1856 and Grassy River School No. 1276, as a result of arbitration by the Rural Municipality of Glenella. Although the district was formed, a school was not built at that time. The students were transported to either Falmouth or Lone Spruce depending in which direction the roads happened to be the best at a given time. Separate registers were kept by the teachers. Transportation was by horse and buggy in summer, sleigh in winter, and by foot when possible. In April 1936, the district became part of the Glenella Municipal School District No. 1006.

A school building was erected in the summer of 1953 on the southeast quarter of 15-18-11 west of the Principal Meridian. It opened for classes in September 1953. Through the years, the teachers of Grass Marsh included: Miss Reta Schmitt, Miss Friesen, Mrs. Brown (September 1954 - March 1955), Miss Gail Dickson (April 1955 - June 1956), Mrs. Ida Smith, Miss Reta Lempky, Mrs. G. McInnis, Miss Jane Zahodnick, Mr. Reinhart Ferchau (1961-1963), Miss Helen Skrabek (September 1964 - December 1965), Miss June Baron (January 1965 - June 1965), and Miss Merrilyn Grieve (1965-1966). Walter Witt served as school trustee throughout the duration of Grass Marsh School and Eileen Witt served as school caretaker.

The school closed permanently in June 1966. The last class consisted of Lillian and Dorothy Brach, Sylvia Smith, Adrene and Allan Witt, Twyla and Delmar Johnston, and Deborah and Oscar Oswald. The school building was sold to Don Oswald and moved to another site for use as a private residence. It was later owned by Logan Dumanske. No vestige of the school remains at the original site.

Grass Marsh School picnic

Grass Marsh School picnic (1950s)
Source: Adrene Schmidt

Students of Grass Marsh School with teacher Mrs. Brown

Students of Grass Marsh School with teacher Mrs. Brown (1955)
Back, L-R: Mrs. Brown, Barry and Neil Johnson. Centre: Teddy Kleemola, Victor Post, Louise Oswald, Beverly Oswald, Lynn Post, Larry Johnson, Ron Post. Front: Bunny Oswald, Danny Post, Norman Witt, Murray Witt, Darwin Oswald, Allan Kleemola.
Source: Adrene Schmidt

Students of Grass Marsh School march in procession

Students of Grass Marsh School march in procession (June 1956)
Source: Adrene Schmidt

Students of Grass Marsh School with teacher Reinhart Ferchau

Students of Grass Marsh School with teacher Reinhart Ferchau (June 1963)
Source: Adrene Schmidt

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.53636, W98.89507
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Amaranth War Memorial, Schools, and Churches (Amaranth, RM of Alonsa)

Sources:

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.

We thank Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Adrene Schmidt and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 January 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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