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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Minerva School No. 1045 (RM of Gimli)

The Minerva School District was established in January 1900, and a school building was subsequently built in the northeast quarter of 6-19-4 east of the Principal Meridian in the Rural Municipality of Gimli, on land offered by Mrs. F. Einarson. It opened in September 1900. Two years later, the district purchased the property from the Einarson family for $10, who donated it back to the school board.

In January 1951, the school board decided to replace the original building with a new one. Three acres of land were purchased from John Cherniak at NE6-19-4E, and classes resumed in the new building in September 1951. When the runways of the nearby Royal Canadian Air Force station were extended in 1957, the associated noise and proximity of the aircraft were deemed detrimental to operation of the school so, in October 1957, the students were transported to Gimli and the school was closed. The former school building was moved back to its original location, standing there empty until the district was consolidated as part of Evergreen School Division No. 22 in April 1967. The former schoolhouse was moved to Gimli and renovated into a private residence.

The teachers of Minerva School were Bjorn I. Sigvaldason (1900), Albert E. Kristjanson (1900-1901), Magnus Hjaltason (1901-1902), Anna Petursson (1903-1904, 1906, 1907-1910, 1913, 1914), Solveig Sveinsson (1904), Asgeir Fjeldsted (1905), Hallfridur Kristjanson (1905-1906, 1912), Ingibjorg Petursson (1907), Gudny Jonasson (1910-1911), Albina Melsted (1911), Solveig Arnason (1913), Selina Halland (1914), Josie Howsain (1915), Robert H. Little (1915-1916), Bjorn Petursson (1916), Holmfridur Johnson (1917), Capitola Sigvaldason (1918), Elin Sveinson (1918), Lilja Sveinson (1919, 1922), Veiga Arason (1920), Sigridur Einarson (1920-1921), Ljotun Thorsteinson (1923), Helga Fjeldsted (1924-1925), Franz Solmundson (1926-1927), Thoridur Johnson (1928), Kristjana Johnson (1928), Dagmar Johannesson (1929), Oscar Solmundson (1930-1931), Bill Johnson (1932-1934), Kristine Benson (1935-1937), Helga Sigurdson (1937), Edward Borgfjord (1938), Asgeir Fjeldsted (1939), Steinunn Johnson (1939), Margaret Munson (1939-1941), Sigurlin Danielson (1942, 1944), Arleif Sigvaldason (1943), Rose Churko (1945), Mary Tkachuk (1946), Anne Machewski (1947), Anita Wiebe (1948), Ethel Howard (1949-1951), and Michael Shewaga (1952-1957).

The first Minerva School building

The first Minerva School building (no date) by H. D. Cumming
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 46.

Minerva School commemorative sign

Minerva School commemorative sign (September 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.61044, W97.01949
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

A History of Education in the Evergreen School Division by John C. Gottfried, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1965.

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.

Minerva School Reunion, July 23-24, 1983. [Copy held by Gordon Goldsborough]

Rural Municipality of Gimli: Historical Highlights, 1887-1987 by Rural Municipality of Gimli Centennial Homecoming Committee. Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.G55 Rur.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 January 2021

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