Historic Sites of Manitoba: Camille School No. 511 (RM of Victoria)
The land comprising the former Camille School District, in what later became the Rural Municipality of Victoria, was homesteaded in 1879 and 1880. For a time, children in the area attended Dawson School No. 117 or Louise School No. 116. Neither option was entirely satisfactory because the schools were deemed too far for students to travel so, in 1887, a meeting of local residents was held. Three trustees were elected and a school district was duly established in June 1887. An acre of land at SW23-8-11W was purchased for $15 from Robert Robertson in April 1888. Initially known as Summit School District, a wood-frame building was constructed and furnished at a cost of $510. It opened for classes in April 1888.
By 1897, the initial schoolhouse was proving too small to accommodate a growing student body. The following year, a red brick, one-classroom building was constructed on the same site, using bricks made at Holland by Frank Dagg. The former schoolhouse was moved slightly and used for a time as a teacherage.
The district was dissolved in January 1966, being merged with Holland Consolidated School No. 390, but the school remained in operation until June 1966. For a time, the former school building was used as a community centre. It was later sold to the Drummond family. At the time of a September 2010 site visit, the building remained standing in the yard of a private residence and was being used for storage. Many of the exterior bricks near the front entrance were engraved with the initials of students who attended the school through the years.
Among the teachers of Camille School were Helen Crippen (1888), Mrs. Godfrey (1888), Abbie Nelson (1889), Mr. Gordon, Lawrence Pentland, Alfred Downey (1896), Helen McKenzie (1897), Mr. Y. E. Campbell (1898), Fred Inglis, James C. Lawson, James J. Keith (1897-1898), Angus McVicar, Clarence Brooks, Miss Palmer, Mr. Lawson, Ethel Moore, Miss Arbuthnot, Miss Aldridge, Miss Richardson, Kathleen Schwalm, Muriel Robinson (1912-1913), Millie Porteous, Alma Mills (1914), Jim McGill (1915), Minnie Sanderson, Frances Holland, Belle Rose (1920), Grace Collias, Violet Eaton, Ethel Robertson, Marion McCreary, Murray McIvor, Georgina Sandford, Gladys Larsen (1929-1933), Alice Ferris, Edna Rex (1935-1936), Jean Richmond (1936-1941), Elizabeth McIver (1941-1942), Mary Frizzley (1942-1943), Jean Scott (1943-1944), Emily Prout (1944-1945), Gordon East (1945-1946), Walter Dawson (1946), Lillian Johnson (1946-1947), Gladys Mabon (1947-1948), Jean Young (1948-1949), M. Ruth Mooney (1949-1950), Joyce Bullied (1950-1952), Lois Leslie (1952-1953), Jennie Filuk (1953-1954), Mildred McCulloch (1954), Susan Toews (1955), Bertha Williamson (1955-1956), Rhoda Cain (1956-1959), June Robertson (1959-1960), Claire E. May (1960-1962), Gwen Evenson (1962-1964), Gertrude Templeton (1964-1965), and Lynn Shewfelt (1965-1966).
“The Indian famine fund,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 March 1897, page 4.
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.
A Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.
Camille School District: A Historical Reference, 1887-1987 by George T. McCulloch, 1987. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5648.C35]
We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 7 August 2021