Historic Sites of Manitoba: Mountain City School No. 236 (RM of Stanley)

This monument in the Rural Municipality of Stanley commemorates the former site of Mountain City (1876-1883), situated at SW24-2-6 west of the Principal Meridian. In 1874, the first expedition of the North West Mounted Police passing along the Colonization Trail camped here, a day’s journey by horse from Emerson. The town was later established by entrepreneurs Alfred Codd and Frederick Thomas Bradley. In time it had two hotels, a general store, a tin and hardware store, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a sawmill, a school, and a Presbyterian church attended by cleric Hugh Jamieson Borthwick.

By 1881, Mountain City was the county seat of South Dufferin Municipality. But like its neighbor Nelson to the north, the rosy future predicted for Mountain City was cut short. The site was abandoned in 1883 when the new Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed through the present town of Morden a few miles to the north. Those buildings capable of being moved were taken to the new town. By 1910, the last surviving building at the Mountain City site, the church, was demolished.

On 5 July 1962, a concrete monument commemorating Mountain City was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Rev. P. Hiebert, municipal councillor J. B. Johnson, MLA Carolyne Alexandra Morrison, MP George Robson Muir, Reunion Chairman W. J. Breakey, Rev. Marnoch, Dr. Vincent Onhauser, J. Blank, Allan Johnson, Dr. K. Borthwick, Provincial Architect Hartwell Walter Lewis “Hart” Bowsfield, local historian Adolph Dack, J. W. Hamm, A. L. Wiebe, W. Muir, Mrs. R. A. Hosea, Mrs. J. Allison, Mrs. N. G. Sutton, Mrs. Alex Phillips, H. J. Martens, H. I. Hoeppner, R. Mayert, B. A. Buchanan, and H. Winkler.

The Mountain City School District was established in 1884 and a schoolhouse operated at NE24-2-6W. In 1967, the district was dissolved and its catchment area became part of the Morden Consolidated School District.

Among the teachers of Mountain City School was Miss Elizabeth Berryhill (1904-1906).

The original Mountain City School

The original Mountain City School (circa 1920)
Source: Education Department Report, 1920, Manitoba Legislative Library.

The second Mountain City School

The second Mountain City School (circa 1920)
Source: Education Department Report, 1920, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Mountain City School

Mountain City School (no date) by G. G. Neufeld
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 83.

Mountain City commemorative monument

Mountain City commemorative monument (July 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Mountain City commemorative monument

Mountain City commemorative monument (May 2023)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.14802, W98.14416
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Nelson / Nelsonville (RM of Stanley)


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 Liz Gibson and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 May 2023

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