Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cochrane School No. 43 (RM of Portage la Prairie)

The Cochrane School District was named to honour Archdeacon Cockran who, in 1850, established the first settlement in the area. The school was a 24 foot by 36 foot one-room white frame building, serving a small rural area north of High Bluff, in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. Enrolment in grades one to eight ranged from eight to twenty students. Many students rode ponies which were sheltered in an adjacent barn. The fenced schoolyard had a stile at the west end that provided a focal point for friendship and games. In 1882, a new school building was erected on the farm of Albert Muir, one half mile south of its present location. It burned in 1896 and a replacement was constructed in the northwest corner of 25-12-6W. This school burned in 1930 and was replaced with another one on the same site. In 1950, some Franco-Manitoban students, refugees from the disastrous flood in the Red River Valley, attended Cochrane School, providing a new cultural awareness for the regular students. Due to low enrolment, the students transferred to High Bluff Consolidated School No. 2418 in 1953. The school was later closed and the building was sold. A monument was erected on the school site in 2001.

Among the teachers who worked at Cochrane School were Mary E. Oliver Allison, Nellie Purvis Hall, Mr. Craigen, Mr. A. E. Moore, George Ingham, Mrs. Matilda Craik, Miss J. Woodman, Mary Cadham, Ethel Brandon, Isabelle Strong, Susie M. Somerville, A. A. Rae, Annie Dale, Leslie Hannah, D. Stevenson, Sara Brown, Augusta Bredin, H. C. Nesbitt, G. C. McBoodie, F. H. imberley, John A. MacDonald, Theresa Lamb, Annie M. Monnder, I. K. Wabuesley, Laura Hamilton, Anna Muckle, Pearl Crealock, Catherine M. Boughton, Nettie P. Cramer, Ruby Crealock, Bessie M. Campbell, Theresa M. Gair, Tammy Jones, C. D. Walden, Jessie E. Wallace, M. Tidsbury, Thelma Muir, May Pollock, A. Cruickshank, Margaret Lloyd, Evelyn Alice Earls, Edna Louise Cook, Elsie Stacey, Joy Warner, Doreen Aulda Gardiner, Mina Ammeter, Mrs. Loraine Arnold, Miss Girnith George (1949-1950), and Margaret Tidsbury.

Cochrane School

Cochrane School (no date) by A. B. Fallis
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 15.

Cochrane School commemorative monument

Cochrane School commemorative monument (April 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Cochrane School commemorative monument

Cochrane School commemorative monument (November 2023)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.04893, W98.17023
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: William Cockran [William Cochrane] (1798-1865)


“Prince Charles teaching staff rated among best in Manitoba,” Portage la Prairie Leader, 7 September 1950.

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.

Rural Schools of Portage la Prairie School Division #24 by Muriel Wright, 1996.

We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 May 2024

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