Historic Sites of Manitoba: South Springfield School No. 39 / Montavista School / North School / North Transcona School (Gunn Road, Winnipeg)
The South Springfield School District was established formally in September 1879 and a log schoolhouse was erected near the residence of Robert Gunn, off what is now Gunn Road in Winnipeg. Gunn, who served many years on the School Board, was also the Postmaster of the Montavista Post Office (1888-1898), from which local residents adopted the Montavista name for the school. The school was initially rented to the district until being purchased from Gunn in 1882. It was then relocated from the northwest corner of NE9-11-4E, near what is now the CNR Victoria Beach Subdivision crossing at Gunn Road, to NE8-11-3E near the southwest corner of Gunn Road and Day Street.
In 1893, a school building was built here by the McCormick Brothers, at a cost of $700, and the old building was sold for $300. Following the founding of the Town of Transcona, and after the construction of the Central School, the district was renamed in 1913 to the Transcona School District. This site was subsequently renamed the North School on account of its relation to the newly built Central School and its geography in the district. Its proximity to the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway North Transcona Yards and the surrounding “North Trascona” area (itself largely in the Rural Municipality of Kildonan and Rural Municipality of Springfield) led to people referring to the facility as North Transcona School. This caused confusion because the adjacent North Springfield School District also had a North Transcona School.
Instruction up to grade eight was offered here until 1921 when the district began transporting students from the vicinity of the Beaman Post Office to this school. An eight-foot expansion was added to the structure to accommodate the growing student body and instruction was capped at the grade six level. Within a few years, this was further scaled back to just grades 1 to 3. The school closed permanently in December 1934 and all students went then transferred to the Central School. The building was sold to a local resident who used it as a toolshed. The South Springfield School name would later be reintroduced in the Springfield School District.
Among the teachers of South Springfield School / Montavista School were Maggie Patterson (1880), Miss M. Conklin (?-1893), and Jeremiah Gunn. The teachers of North School / North Transcona School include Miss E. Baldwin (c1913), S. Beatrice Umphrey (1914-1915), Maggie R. Stuart (1915), Effie Marian Wilson (1914-1915), E. J. Bates (1916-1917), Charlotte Smith (1917-1918), Bessie Runions (1918-1919), Maud E. Honnor (1920-1921), Clarence George Honnor (1922), F. E. Holland (1922-1923), Lulu V. Moir (1923), Victoria M. Brown (1924), Rosaline E. Harding (1924-1927), Tannis Norquay (1928-1929), and Mildred Mary Hammond (1929-1935).
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.
“Teacher wanted [South Springfield School District No. 39,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 11 August 1882, page 8.
“Tenders,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 20 July 1893, page 8.
“Tenders [South Springfield School],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 24 July 1893, page 6.
“Merriment in Montavista,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 1 January 1894, page 3.
“The Springfield District,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 30 January 1894, page 3.
“Mr. Big speculator [advertisement],” Manitoba Free Press, 27 April 1912, page 29.
“Tenders for Transcona School [South Springfield School District No. 39],” Manitoba Free Press, 21 August 1912, page 2.
“Tenders will be received [...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 August 1921, page 20.
“Transcona [The Transcona school re-opened...],” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 7 October 1921, page 8.
“Transcona Schools,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 April 1927, page 17.
Manitoba School Records Collection, Trancona School District No. 39 (South Springfield School / North School) Daily Registers, GR8245, Archives of Manitoba.
School division half-yearly attendance reports (E0757), Archives of Manitoba.
Springfield, 1st Rural Municipality in Manitoba, 1873-1973, Dugald Women’s Institute. [Legislative Library of Manitoba, F 5648.S71 Spr c.1]
Post Office and Postmasters, Library and Archives Canada.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 4 December 2017
Back to top of page