Historic Sites of Manitoba: Islay School No. 733 (Vista, Municipality of Rossburn)

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

A monument in the village of Vista, in the Municipality of Rossburn, commemorates Islay School, which was formally established in February 1893. Initially, a school building was erected on the northeast corner of 11-19-24W, one mile east of this site. In January 1910, it was moved to town, where it remained for the next decade. A new school was built on the site in 1920 and the original building was used initially for other school functions then, as enrollment increased, as a second classroom. An addition was made to it in 1950 then the 1920 building was demolished two years later, and its material was used to build the local post office. In 1953, a third classroom was added.

In 1960, as part of the trend toward rural school consolidation, Islay became part of the Pelly Trail School Division. Classes in grades 9 to 11 were transferred to Rossburn Collegiate. The school continued with grades 1 to 8 until June 1968 when it closed permanently. Around 1970, the building was moved to the grounds of the collegiate (N50.67556, W100.81245), where it was used as a maintenance depot for the School Division.





Adam Paul Chuchmach


Ester Johnson


Isabel Davison Nicholson


Henry William Jones


The other teachers of Islay School were Mr. Bruce (1893), Miss Ross (1893), George Brown (1894), Mattie I. McEwen (1895-1896), W. A. Lowry (1896-1897), John A. Grant (1897-1898), Maggie Tully (1898-1899), Annie M. K. Shannon (1899-1900), Kate Rankin (1900-1902), J. Adam Smith (1905-1906), Arthur V. Lamont (1906-1907), Mary Alice Osborne (1906-1907), Edith H. Bulloch (1907-1908), Eugenie L. Bates (1908-1909), Bessie Lawson (1908-1909), Mabel Hagerman (1909-1910), Helen Minstone (1909-1910), Andrew Lee Jones (1910-1911), Heather McManus (1910-1911), Daisy M. Mornington (1911-1912), Lillian Maude Lowe (1912-1915), Margaret Parker (1915-1916), Robena Fusee (1917-1919), Mrs. J. Frances Todd (1918-1919), Margaret Parker (1919-1920), Cordelia Alberta “Cordie” Peden (1920-1921), Weston Sweet (1920-1923), Elsie Greer (1921-1922), Ester Birch (1922-1923), May Kinney (1923-1924), Eva M. Astrope (1924-1927), Myrtle G. Rusenel (1924-1927), Ella D. Hensler (1927-1928), Marion MacPhail (1927-1935), John Hamilton Menzies (1928-1930), Catherine M. Young (1930-1933), John Ernest McKim (1934-1936), Isabelle M. J. Young (1935-1939), Mildred Grace Brown (1936-1938), Margaret Helen Kippen Miller (1938-1940, 1943-1944), Louise Allison Switzer (1939-1940), Kenneth Donald Bruce (1940-1941), Dorothy I. Wherrett (1940-1943), Helen Hendrie Jorgensen (1941-1943), Matilda Presch (1941-1942), Georgina Frances Johnston (1943-1945), Margaret Helen Fairhall (1944-1945), Leona Amy Burhoe (1945-1946), Annie Katchur (1945-1946), Violet Gallant (1946-1947), Margaret Eugenie Tweddell (1946-1949), Harold Wilfred Walker (1946-1947), Elizabeth Bergman (1947-1948), Frederick William Hay (1947-1948), Mary Noreen Snider (1947-1948), Eugenie Alyce Glasman (1949-1950), Mary Marcia Ewashko (1950-1952), Doris Penstock (1951-1952), Muriel Marion Zeppa (1952-1953), Olia Marie Borodie (1953-1955, 1955-1956), Joseph Borody (1953-1954), Myrtle Munday (1954-1955), Margaret Hay (1954-1956), Anne Mushumanski (1956-1957), Jean Munro (1956-1957), E. A. McShane (1957-1958), Jerry Matiation (1957-1958), Olga Michaluk (1958-1959, 1959-1960), Alice Sydor (1958-1960), Gladys Berney (1960-1965), Ethel McNulty (1960-1963), Mrs. Katherine M. Madill (1960-1961), Paul Harry Rudiak (1960-1965), Sonia Silewich (1965-1966), Ella B. I. Hazelhurst (1965-1967), Jean Michalchuk (1966-1968), and Phyllis Chopp (1967-1968).

Photos & Coordinates

Senior room of Islay School

Senior room of Islay School (no date) by G. W. Bartlett
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 116.

Junior room of Islay School

Junior room of Islay School (no date) by G. W. Bartlett
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 116.

Islay School commemorative monument

Islay School commemorative monument (July 2009)
Source: Doug Brown

Islay School commemorative monument

Islay School commemorative monument (October 2022)
Source: Kathryn Hyndman

The former Islay School building behind the Rossburn Collegiate at N50.67556, W100.81245

The former Islay School building behind the Rossburn Collegiate at N50.67556, W100.81245 (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.62437, W100.71732
denoted by symbol on the map above


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

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.

The Way It Was! by Matthew Halliday, Dauphin, 1982. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.S46 Hal]

On the Sunny Slopes of the Riding Mountains, A History of Rossburn and District, Volume 1 by Rossburn History Club, 1984. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.R78 Ont]

Ripples On The Lake: A History of Shoal Lake Municipality, 1884-1984 by Shoal Lake History Book Committee, 1984.

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

Vista Tales ... from Islay School District No. 733 in Vista, Manitoba, compiled and edited by Gerald R. Brown, ISBN 0-9781220-0-3, Legislative Library of Manitoba.

We thank Doug Brown, Malcolm Bell, Nathan Kramer, David Ford, and Kathryn Hyndman for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 October 2022

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