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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Belfry School No. 626 (Municipality of Two Borders)

The Belfry School District was established in January 1891, with a frame building erected in the southwest quarter of 12-4-28 west of the Principal Meridian, in what is now the Municipality of Two Borders. Land for the school was provided by local farmer Warren Belfry, from whom the school name was derived. Five years later, the building was moved to its present location at SW5-4-27W.

The school was closed between June 1940 and January 1945 due to low student enrollment. It closed permanently in June 1962 and the remaining students were bused to Elva School, Pierson School, or Melita School. The building is a municipally-designated heritage site (2001).

The teachers who worked at Belfry School included John H. Livingstone (1892), Arthur B. Jamieson (1893-1894), Ethel B. White (1895), John Heron (1896), Andrew Slater (1897), K. McKinlay (1898), Aggie Atkinson McKague (1899), Maggie A. Blain (1900), Emma G. Flaws (1901), Jessie J. Furtney (1901), Mr. McLeod (1902), Mr. D. L. McLeod (1905-1906), Caroline E. Short (1906), Miss Maggie Hope (1907), Clara Carson (19089), Miss Wheeler, Miss Mary A. Rodgers (1908), Miss Emma M. Fizzell (1909-1911), Miss Jessie R. Phoenix (1912), Bessie Forrest (1913), Nellie Archibald Searcy (1914-1917), Margaret E. Gee (1918), Miss B. M. Johnston (1919), Miss M. Kenner (1920), N. Archibald (1921), Emily Horsley Armstrong (1922), T. D. Strong Steedsman (1923), Miss Olive Wells (1924), Winona Howell (1925), Vera Mason Heslop (1926-1927), O. E. Lennon Wilson (1928), Gertrude Dobbyn Whetter (1929-1931), C. J. James (1932), J. Turnbull (1933-1934), Miss Marian Shand Williams (1935-1936), Olive House (1937-1938), Ruby Fletcher Reddaway (1939), Eva Roblin Heath (1945), Bertha Wood Lewis (1946), Mrs. Mary Best (1947), Melba Dobbyn Sinclair (1948), Evelyn Munro Dell (1949), Miss Irene Cooper (1951), Grace Johnson Roblin (1953), Dorothy Robinson Martin (1954), Doreen Spicer-Sage (1955-1956), Mrs. Sarah Baker (1957), Doreen Coates Reimer (1958), Mrs. Grace Roblin (1959), Elizabeth Anderson Pederson (1960), Evelyn Stamper Nuttal (1961), and Hazel McLintock Andrews (1962).

Belfry School

Belfry School (no date) by George Hunter
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 99.

The former Belfry School building

The former Belfry School building (circa 1986)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 119.

The former Belfry School building

The former Belfry School building (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Belfry School building

The former Belfry School building (September 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Interior of the former Belfry School building

Interior of the former Belfry School building (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Outhouse for the former Belfry School building

Outhouse for the former Belfry School building (September 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.26668, W101.09802
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


Belfry School, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

Our First Century, Town of Melita and Municipality of Arthur: 1884-1984 by Melita-Arthur History Committee, 1983, pages 229-230.

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.

Harvests of Time: History of the R.M. of Edward by Edward History Book Committee, 1983, page 140.

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: 12 September 2022

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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