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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bidford School No. 456 (Municipality of Deloraine-Winchester)

The Bidford School District was established in July 1885, named for a town in England from which a local settler had come. A first schoolhouse, a small one-room frame structure, operated at NW16-4-22W in what is now the Municipality of Deloraine-Winchester. In the early 1890s, the school was moved to the northeast corner of SE16-4-22W and it was enlarged in 1901. Seven years later, through the efforts of Education Minister R. S. Thornton, a one-room schoolhouse made of red bricks with a full basement was constructed one-half mile south, on a four-acre grounds in the southeast corner of SE16-4-22W. Between 1922 and 1925, the basement was used for high school classes. Closed in 1964, the district was dissolved two years later and its catchment area became part of the Deloraine Consolidated School District and later the Antler River School Division. The building was sold at auction on 13 April 1966 and is no longer present at the site. A commemorative monument was dedicated at a ceremony on 15 July 2000 attended by over 100 people.

Among the teachers of Bidford School were F. J. Cornell, Miss Bella Wightman, Sam York, Minnie Manson, Miss Rombough, Miss Thompson, Miss Brethour, Mrs. Hagerman, Grace Cassils, Alice Brown, Della Keppin, Violet Mattalall, J. C. Lawson, John Little, Vincent Irvine, John Peckover, Nellie Holden, Miss May McKinney (1917-1918), Estelle Spence, Mollie Nixon, Carrie Bailey, Beatrice Graham, Jean McLeod, Fred Balfour, Mabel Price, Stephen Wigby, Aline Harvey, Dorothy McMillan, Jean Blair, Kerry Lyons, Muriel Wilson, Elva Johnson, Jean Cavers, Winnifred Brown, Jean Wheatley, Iris Cavers, Selena Christianson, Edna Wintle, Marlene Dale, Florence Kowaluk, Betty Kingdon, Joan Neuman, Iris Yawney, Gail Poole, Joanne Hodgson, and Marjorie Claeys (1964).

Bidford School, constructed in 1918

Bidford School, constructed in 1918 (no date) by George Hunter
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 62.

Bidford School commemorative monument

Bidford School commemorative monument (May 2020)
Source: Elaine Morrison

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.29680, W100.37576
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

Our Heritage by Regent Women’s Institute, c1967, pages 29-31. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.R44 Reg]

Elgin West topographic map, 62F/08 West, Edition 1, Series A743 [Archives of Manitoba].

Deloraine Scans a Century by Deloraine History Book Committee, 1980, pages 124-125.

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 Elaine Morrison and Janice McClelland for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 June 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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