Historic Sites of Manitoba: Otter School No. 411 (Municipality of Brenda-Waskada)

The Otter School District was formally established in June 1885 and a school building was built later that year, on the northeast quarter of 10-3-24 west of the Principal Meridian, in what is now the Municipality of Brenda-Waskada. The second school was built in 1908, south of the first one, with Miss Rowbotham as teacher. Made of concrete blocks, it featured a full basement and coal-burning furnace. The original building was sold to local farmer William Conner for use as a granary. The school closed in January 1967 and the remaining students went to Deloraine Consolidated School No. 2448. The school building was sold to the Gilson brothers for use as a seed-cleaning plant.

As of 2011, the northeast corner of the building has been extensively damaged, causing the roof to collapse. It had been demolished sometime before a 2021 site visit but a monument commemorates it.

Teachers at Otter School through the years included the following: Mrs. R. A. Johnston, E. J. Duffy, Josie M. Harvey, Mira Berry, Christina McKinnon, Louise Proutt, Maude Sterling, Miss H. L. Proutt, Miss F. Washington, Ruby Stewart, Miss Rowbotham, Miss Agar, Miss Ford, J. I. Herkes, Miss Morrow, Miss Whitlaw, Miss Collins, Miss Tweed, Miss McKinney, A. Todd, Miss Fairhall, Edna Barnett, T. H. Greenway, Mary E. Clarke, Miss Pollock, Miss Chapman, Mary Smith, Mabel Render, Irene Lees, William Wallace Wright (1943-1944), Maggie Gilchrist, Winnifred E. Potter, Phyllis Irene Wagner, Ann Nedotafko, Miss Jean Stewart, Alice Strutt, Selma Segaert, Jean Blair McKinnon, Ruth Meldrum, Phyllis Talboom, Muriel Hamblin, Gertrude Gilliland, Doris G. Atkinson, Agnes Jean Grey, A. M. Griffith, Margaret Griffith, Alice Beare, Edna Reeve, and Shirley Buan.

Otter School

Otter School (no date) by George Hunter
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 46.

Former Otter School building

Former Otter School building (circa 1986)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 173.

Former Otter School building

Former Otter School building (October 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Interior of the former Otter School building

Interior of the former Otter School building (October 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Otter School commemorative monument

Otter School commemorative monument (September 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.20735, W100.62442
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Otter Lake School No. 2265 (Municipality of Clanwilliam-Erickson)

MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks


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.

Deloraine Scans a Century: 1880-1980 by Deloraine History Book Committee, 1980, pages 144-145.

Bridging Brenda: The History of Brenda Municipality and Area, Volume 1 by Brenda History Committee, 1990, pages 116-117.

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

We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 October 2022

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