Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brandon Normal School / Model Room School / Agricultural Extension Centre (1129 Queens Avenue, Brandon)
This building, designed by provincial architect Victor Horwood and constructed between 1912 and 1913 by local contractor Thomas M. Harrington, was one of four Normal Schools in Manitoba, along with St. Boniface (1903), Manitou (1904), and Winnipeg (1905-1906). Prior to the building being constructed, the Normal School had been held in other local schools including Park School and Alexandra School (1907).
Starting in September 1919, the Brandon School District opened a classroom for school-age children within the premises, known for most of its years as the Model Room School. It served as an instructional setting for both children up to grade six as well as practical classroom experience for teachers-in-training. The Model Room School remained in operation until the summer of 1942. Some of its teachers were Miss Eileen Ritchie (1919-c1921), ? (c1921-1922), Alma E. Campbell (c1922-1923), Miss McIsaac (1923-1924), Lily Amelia Harrison (1924-1942).
With Benjamin Jones Hales as its Principal, the Brandon Normal School served as the centre for rural teaching instruction until the end of the 1941-1942 school year when the building was occupied by the Department of National Defence, and Normal School classes were moved to the Daymin Court.
In 1946, the building was turned over to the Manitoba Department of Agriculture for its southwestern operations. It became the Agricultural Extension Centre in 1959. It is still used as office space by the provincial agricultural department. A commemorative plaque north of the building was erected by the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba.
Photos & Coordinates
“Brandon Normal School,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 21 March 1907, page 8.
“Only six men attending classes at Normal School,” Brandon Daily Sun, 4 September 1919, page 1.
“Examinations in public schools [Model Room at Normal School],” Brandon Daily Sun, 30 June 1921, page 7.
“Promotion lists [Normal School Room],” Brandon Daily Sun, 7 July 1924, page 3.
“Promotion lists [Model Room],” Brandon Daily Sun, 9 July 1925, page 6.
“Model Room,” Brandon Daily Sun, 7 July 1936, page 7.
“Proposed list for elementary schools [Model Room],” Brandon Daily Sun, 7 July 1942, page 7.
“Teaching staff Brandon schools,” Brandon Daily Sun, 5 September 1922, page 10.
“Have provided much needed accommodation,” Brandon Daily Sun, 28 August 1923, page 1.
“Beginners will be taken into public schools,” Brandon Daily Sun, 28 August 1925, page 1.
“Public schools and Collegiate taxed to limit,” Brandon Daily Sun, 3 September 1925, page 1.
“Teaching staff complete for school opening,” Brandon Daily Sun, 30 August 1926, page 6.
“Public schools and collegiate open tomorrow,” Brandon Daily Sun, 31 August 1927, page 1.
“Temporary accommodation for higher grades,” Brandon Daily Sun, 1 September 1928, page 6.
“All city schools re-open for fall term on Tuesday,” Brandon Daily Sun, 30 August 1929, page 1.
“List of teachers public school,” Brandon Daily Sun, 1 September 1930, page 5.
“All schools to open Monday for fall term here,” Brandon Daily Sun, 27 August 1931, page 1.
“William B. Beer died suddenly Friday evening,” Brandon Sun, 4 August 1934, page 2.
“Some changes on teaching staff of public schools,” Brandon Daily Sun, 31 August 1934, page 1.
“Schools staff public schools,” Brandon Daily Sun, 2 September 1939, page 8.
“Seven changes on teaching staff of the public schools,” Brandon Daily Sun, 28 August 1940, page 12.
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Brandon: A Prospect of a City by Mary Hume, 1981.
Manitoba Normal School Principals, 1939-1965, Manitoba Education Library Archives.
We thank Terry Hewitt, George Stewart, and George Penner for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 10 July 2022