Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ethelbert School No. 1021 (Ethelbert)
The Ethelbert School District was organized formally in May 1899 and a brick school building was erected on the northwest quarter of 29-29-21 west of the Principal Meridian, near the village of Ethelbert, in the Rural Municipality of Ethelbert. The first teacher was John Duncan, teaching students in grades 1 to 8. In 1916, it was replaced by a two-storey brick structure at the site of the present “old” school building. It was heated by two wood-burning furnaces in its basement, supplemented by a woodstove in the hallway of the main floor. From 1916 to 1935, students in grades 3 to 5 attended the original school outside town while the others attended the new building.
In 1935, a small wood frame building was built east of the school in Ethelbert and the original building was demolished. On 8 September 1942, the two-storey school was hit by lightning and burned to the ground (the “small” school was undamaged) and was later replaced by the present structure. An addition was made to it in 1957, providing a science laboratory and teachers’ room on the north side. A new collegiate was built in 1959 and grades 9 to 12 moved there in January 1960.
As part of the school consolidated movement that occurred through the 1960s, it became Ethelbert Consolidated School in July 1964. Student came here from rural schools in the surrounding vicinity that closed, including Wolodimir School No. 1169, Loon Lake School No. 1184, Taras School No. 1256, Rhodes School No. 1498, Kulish School No. 1726, Doroshenko School No. 1730, Bohdan School No. 1745, Belle Creek School No. 1827, Esmond School No. 1903, Kerr School No. 2204, Boyan School No. 2237, and Content School No. 2299. As class sizes grew, temporary huts were built at the elementary and collegiate buildings; some elementary classes were held in a nearby curling rink.
In 1971, with an addition to the collegiate that included an open-area teaching space, gymnasium, and administration office, students in kindergarten and grades 5 to 12 attended here, while students in grades 1 to 4 remained at the “old” school and its associated “small” school. The temporary huts were no longer needed. In September 1980, with the open-area space converted into self-contained classrooms, all remaining students moved over to the former collegiate building and the older schools were finally closed. The “small” school was moved to a nearby farm for use as a garage.
Among the other teachers of Ethelbert School were J. L. Morrow and Anne Tycholes (1938).
Photos & Coordinates
“The local round,” Dauphin Herald, 20 October 1938, page 9.
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
“Notice of application for a change of name [William Simon Nimchuk],” Dauphin Herald, 16 April 1942, page 8.
“95 per cent grain cut in Sifton district,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 September 1942, page 14.
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.
Cooking With Class: A Century of Community Schools, A 2008 Fundraising Project of the Ethelbert District Community Fund.
We thank Alan Mason for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 August 2020