Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 139 years

 

Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop


MHS
Fall 2018
Field Trip


Manitoba
History

No. 87


This Old
Elevator


Abandoned
Manitoba


Memorable
Manitobans


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Isbister School / Adult Education Centre (310 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Maps | Sources

The oldest public school in Winnipeg and the last old downtown school sits rather anonymously on Vaughan Street, just north of The Bay. The land Isbister School stands on once belonged to the Hudson’s Bay Land Reserve. The School Board purchased a block of lots at $100 each from the Hudson’s Bay Company and in the summer of 1898, the contract for this ten-room, three-storey building was let to builder D. D. Wood. Architect Samuel Hooper supplied the plans. The cornerstone was laid with a silver trowel by School Board Building Committee Chairman Angus Browne at a grand ceremony on 26 September 1898. On Isbister School, Hooper employed Queen Anne style architecture, an eclectic style used mainly for residential buildings in Winnipeg. This makes any public building using the style particularly special.

After decades of service, Isbister School suffered the fate of other downtown schools suddenly in the middle of business districts rather than residential neighbourhoods. Dwindling enrolments caused the school’s closure in 1964 and it seemed likely the old place would be demolished. It received a reprieve, becoming the Adult Education Centre in September 1967. It even survived the 2004 onset of an incongruent steel, concrete and glass addition on the north and west sides. Luckily, the façade retains its 1898 face, glorious even with pollution-darkened brick. The school bears the name of Alexander Kennedy Isbister, the son of Orkneyman Thomas Isbister and Cree Mary Kennedy, who was born in 1822. Isbister studied at universities in Scotland and England becoming a teacher and writer, completing 21 textbooks.

Among the noteworthy alumni of Isbister School, you will discover Rhodes Scholar Skuli Johnson, local printer Gordon Stovel, and singer/comedian Pat Riordan.

Located at the southwest corner of the school building, a plaque from the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba gives a history of Isbister School. In 2001, a restoration of the building’s roof was recognized with a Heritage Winnipeg Conservation Award. The building is a municipally-designated historic site.

Principals

Period

Principal

1898-1903

Rebecca Walker Rodgers (1858-1939)

1903-1916

Ernest James Motley (1868-1940)

1916-1938

Estelle Maud Hamilton (1875-1946)

1938-1945

Nellie Harriet George (1892-1986)

1945-1952

George Harvey Warren (1904-1967)

1952-1953

Inez Lillian Falardeau McCallum (1898-1979)

1953-1955

Robert McIlroy Cross (1903-1984)

1955-1957

Ross Laverne Donald (1907-1992)

1957-1960

Gerald Leopold Kramer (1908-1977)

1960-1964

Ernest W. Nemish (1913-2002)

1964-1966

Closed

1966-1968

Harold Pollock (1928-2008)

1968-1973

Ernest Butterworth (c1917-1975)

1973-?

?

?-2013

Gary John Comack (?-2013)

Vice-Principals

Period

Principal

1970-1972

Harold A. “Harvey” Lyons (?-?)

Teachers

School Year

Teachers

1899-1900

Miss McDonald, Miss McDougall, Miss Shepperd, Miss L. Stewart, Miss Lane, Miss White, Miss Urquhart

1900-1901

Miss E. E. Rankin, Miss M. F. McDonald, Mrs L. Burch, Miss M. E. J. Young, Miss K. E. Lane, Miss N. Breen, Miss L. White, Miss M. B. Harris

1901-1902

Miss E. E. Rankin, Miss A. Pollar, Miss L. Burch, Miss K. Lane, Miss M. Young, Miss E. Breen, Miss L. White, Miss C. Bastedo, Miss M. B. Harris

1902-1903

Mrs E. E. Rankin, Miss Annie Pollar, Mrs L. Burch, Miss K. Lane, Miss M. E. Young, Miss E. Breen, Miss L. White, Miss E. McVicar, Miss A. C. Harris

1903-1904

Miss Adair, Miss A. Pullar, Miss Burch, Miss Lane, Miss Cole, Miss Breen, Miss White, Miss McVicar, Miss Dickie, Miss Walton

1904-1905

Miss Davis, Miss Matthew, Miss Dickle, Miss McVicar, Miss White, Miss Breen, Miss Cole, Miss Hamilton, Miss A. Pullar, Mrs. Adair

1905-1906

Mrs. Adair, Miss E. Thornton, Miss E. Hamilton, Miss M. Davidson, Miss L. O. Cole, Miss E. Breen, Miss J. Rutherford, Miss A. M. Harris, Miss F. McColl, Miss Ivy Cull

1906-1907

?

1907-1908

Miss E. Munro, Miss T. M. Hamilton, Miss M. Davidson, Miss L. O. Cole, Miss B. Gunne, Miss A. Cole, Miss L. L. Kennedy, Miss F. Hickey, Miss I. Cull, Miss M. Corbett

1908-1909

Miss L. White, Miss M. Corbett, Miss M. Mitchell, Miss E. Hickie, Miss L. L. Kennedy, Miss A. Cole, Miss E. M. Philip, Miss O. Cole, Miss M. Davidson, Miss E. Hamilton

1909-1910

?

1910-1911

Miss E. M. Hamilton, Miss L. O. Cole, Miss E. M. Philp, Miss H. Harper, Miss Edna Talbot, Miss L. L. Kennedy, Miss E. M. Hickie, Miss L. White, Miss E. M. Wright, Miss M. Corbett

1911-1912

Miss E. Hamilton, Miss O. Cole, Miss M. Harper, Miss M. Philip, Miss L. L. Kennedy, Miss M. E. McKinnon, Miss T. H. Hickie, Miss M. Disney, Miss L. White, Mrs. Anderson

1912-1913

Miss Hamilton, Miss Cole, Miss M. Harper, Miss I. Haig, Miss Philp, Miss H. C. Sproule, Miss Kennedy, Miss Disney, Miss White, Mrs. Anderson

1913-1914

Mrs. Blakely, Miss Marie MacNeil, Miss A. McLeod, Miss Helen Tait, Miss M. Disney, Miss L. Kennedy, Miss M. Philip, Miss I. Haig, Miss M. Harper, Miss S. Hamilton

1914-1915

Miss E. Hamilton, Miss M. Harper, Miss I. Haig, Miss E. M. Philp, Miss M. Disney, Miss L. Kennedy, Miss A. McLeod, Miss M. MacNeil, Mrs. E. M. Blakely

1915-1916

E. Hamilton, M. Harper, I. Haig, M. McCharles, M. Disney, L. Kennedy, A. McLeod, M. McNeil, E. N. Blakely

1916-1917

I. T. Haig, M. Hill, M. McCharles, M. E. Disnay, A. L. Kennedy, A. McLeod, M. A. McNeil, F. M. Blakely, J. Sutherland

1917-1918

I. T. Haig, M. Hill, M. McCharles, M. E. Disney, E. McPherson, A. L. Kennedy, A. McLeod, M. A. McNeil, J. Sutherland, C. Milne

1918-1919

I. T. Haig, M. I. Hill, M. McCharles, M. Disney, E. McPherson, E. Kennedy, A. Cairns, G. M. Shewell, M. A. McNeil, E. P. Kent, J. Sutherland, A. L. Williams

1919-1920

E. Caldbeck, M. Forrester, A. B. Grover, E. Kennedy, M. J. Lawton, C. M. Moffatt, M. McCharles, M. A. McNeil, E. McPherson, J. Sutherland

1920-1921

?

1921-1922

E. Brady, E. Caldbick, D. H. Green, I. T. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, M. J. Lawton, M. MacNeil, E. McPherson, G. Rolston, J. Sutherland

1922-1923

E. Corbett, E. Conroy, B. G. Ferguson, I. T. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, M. Lawton, E. McPherson, M. Murray, E. M. Riley, J. Sutherland, J. I. Wellwood

1923-1924

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, B. G. Ferguson, I. T. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, M. J. Lawton, E. McPherson, M. Murray, M. Onhauser, Elsie Riley, J. Sutherland

1924-1925

E. Caldbick, H. I. Coleman, W. Conroy, B. Ferguson, I. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, E. McPherson, M. Murray, M. Onhauser, Elsie Riley, J. Sutherland

1925-1926

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, B. Ferguson, I. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, M. Murray, M. McNeil, E. McPherson, E. J. Riley, J. Sutherland

1926-1927

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, B. Ferguson, M. Forhan, E. V. Hendry, I. Haig, E. Kennedy, M. McNeil, E. McPherson, M. Murray, J. Sutherland

1927-1928

H. Ackland, E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, L. Fogarty, I. T. Haig, E. Kennedy, M. Murray, M. McNeil, E. McPherson, Elsie Riley, J. Sullivan

1928-1929

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, L. Fogarty, I. T. Haig, E. L. Kennedy, M. MacNeil, E. McPherson, M. Murray, E. M. Riley, J. Sutherland, W. Wolfson

1929-1930

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, L. J. Fogarty, I. T. Haig, M. M. McNeil, E. McPherson, M. Murray, E. M. Riley, J. Sutherland

1930-1931

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, V. Eyolfson, L. Fogarty, I. Haig, M. McKinnon, M. Macneil, E. McPherson, M. Murray, E. M. Riley, J. Sutherland

1931-1932

E. Aikenhead, E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, I. Eyolfson, L. Fogarty, I. Haig, E. McPherson, M. MacNeill, M. Murray

1932-1933

E. Caldbick, W. Conroy, V. Eyolfson, L. Fogarty, I. T. Haig, I. Jeffries, M. Macneil, M. Murray, E. Nelson

1933-1934

E. Caldbick, V. C. Eyolfson, L. J. Fogarty, D. H. Green, I. T. Haig, I. K. Jeffries, M. MacNeil, M. Murray, E. T. Nelson, M. Nixton

1934-1935

E. Caldbick, V. Eyolfson, L. Fogarty, D. H. Green, I. T. Haig, I. Jeffries, M. MacNeil, M. Murray, E. T. Nelson, M. Nixon

1935-1936

M. Caldbick, V. Eyolfson, I. Finnie, L. Fogarty, D. Green, I. T. Haig, I. Jeffries, H. Macneil, E. T. Nelson, M. Nixon

1936-1937

E. Caldbick, V. Eyolfson, L. J. Fogarty, D. Green, I. T. Haig, I. K. Jefferies, M. MacNeil, E. T. Nelson, M. H. Nixon

1937-1938

E. Caldbick, V. Eyolfson, L. Fogarty, I. T. Haig, I. K. Jefferies, M. Macneil, E. Nelson, M. Nixon

1938-1939

V. Eyolfson, M. McP. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. Haig, H. Hepworth, I. K. Jefferies, M. Macneil, M. H. Nixon, E. Speer, H. Vandecar

1939-1940

M. E. Cranston, V. Eyolfson, J. McP. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. K. Jefferies, M. A. MacNeill, M. H. Nixon, E. A. Speer

1940-1941

M. Cranson, L. Downing, V. Eyolfson, J. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. K. Jefferies, M. McNeill, M. Nixon, M. Prygrocki

1941-1942

M. Cranson, L. Downing, V. Eyolfson, J. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. Jeffreys, M. Macneil, M. Nixon, M. Prygrocki

1942-1943

M. Cranson, L. Downing, V. Eyolfson, J. McP. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. K. Jeffries, M. Macneil, M. Nixon

1943-1944

C. O. Boyd, M. Cranston, L. M. Downing, J. M. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. K. Jeffries, M. Macneil

1944-1945

?

1945-1946

M. Cranston, G. Crowe, L. M. Downing, J. Fraser, D. H. Green, I. K. Jeffries, E. Steel

1946-1947

Elementary department: G. Crowe, L. M. Downing, D. H. Green, J. M. Fraser, J. Hayes, O. Lestition, M. Page, E. B. Steel. Intermediate department: J. L. Grainger

1947-1948

G. Crowe, J. M. P. Fraser, J. C. Grainger, D. H. Green, G. Kepman, M. Scarfe, E. Sims, E. Townsin

1948-1949

J. D. Campbell, Miss G. Crowe, Miss M. Edwards, Miss G. Kepman, Miss E. C. Peterson, Miss E. Pettypiece, Miss E. Townsin

1949-1950

J. D. Campbell, Miss G. Crowe, Miss K. M. Duffy, Miss G. Kepman, Mrs. H. M. Sargent, Mrs. L. Sawatzky, Mrs. E. Thorne

1950-1951

Miss M. Bunting, Miss G. Crowe, Miss K. M. Duffy, H. C. Harper, Miss G. Kopman, Mrs. H. Sargeant, Mrs. E. Thorne, Mrs. R. F. Turner

1951-1952

Miss A. Borkey, Miss K. Duffy, Miss I. L. Epp, H. Harper, Miss G. Kepman, Mrs. E. Thorne, Mrs. R. F. Tuner

1952-1953

?

1953-1954

Miss M. Hamilton, Miss M. Houston, Mrs. O. Kieshka, Mrs. M. Knudson, Miss M. Page, Mrs. M. Perlmutter, Miss A. Picard, Donald A. Schmidt, Mrs. G. Sibersky

1954-1955

Miss M. W. Hamilton, Mrs. B. Horsburgh, Miss M. Houston, Mrs. O. Kieshka, Mrs. M. A. Knudson, Mrs. M. Perlmutter, Miss A. Picard, Donald A. Schmidt, Mrs. G. Sibersky

1955-1956

C. J. Alward, Miss M. W. Hamilton, Mrs. G. Hill, Mrs. B. Horsburgh, Miss M. Houston, Mrs. O. Kieshka, Mrs. M. Perlmutter, Miss A. Picard, Mrs. G. Sibersky

1956-1957

Mrs. M. Dutton, Miss M. Hamilton, Mrs. B. Horsburgh, Mrs. V. Houghton, Miss M. Houston, Miss A. Jackson, Miss A. Picard, Mrs. G. Sibersky, K. Smith

1957-1958

Miss R. Hamilton, Mrs. B. Horsburgh, Mrs. V. Houghton, Mrs. M. Houston, Miss A. Jackson, Mr. A. Lawson, Mrs. M. McElroy, Mr. M. Pelletier, Miss A. Picard, Mr. K. Smith, Miss O. Uhryniuk

1958-1959

Miss W. Cook, Miss R. Hamilton, Mrs. V. Houghton, T. Kalichak, Miss M. Leese, Miss S. Maksimow, J. D. M. Pelletier, Miss A. Picard, Miss I. Robertson,Miss O. Uhryniuk

1959-1960

Mrs. H. Evans, Miss R. Hamilton, Mrs. V. Houghton, T. A. Kalichak, Mrs. L. Lunney, Miss S. Maksimow, J. D. M. Pelletier, Miss A. Picard, Miss O. Uhryniuk

1960-1961

Mrs. I. Gayowsky, Miss R. Hamilton, Mrs. V. Houghton, T. Kalichak, Mrs. L. Lunney, Miss S. Maksimow, Miss A. Picard, Miss O. Uhryniuk

1961-1962

Mrs. M. Apostle, Mrs. I. Gayowsky, Miss R. Hamilton, Mrs. V. Houghton, J. Jaman, T. Kalichak, Miss M. Maksimow, Miss A. Picard, Miss O. Uhryniuk

1962-1963

?

1963-1964

Mrs. M. Apostle, K. Chohan, Miss M. Freeborn, Mrs. I. Gayowsky, Mrs. M. Harrison, Mrs. V. Houghton, J. Jaman, Miss D. Kosakwich, Miss A. Picard, Mrs. M. Saxton

1964-1966

Closed

1966-1967

F. Fedoruk, J. Kahana, J. E. Sigurjonsson

1967-1968

D. Curtis, P. Huebner, Mrs. I. Humeny, Dr. D. Jefferson, J. Kahana, P. Koo, J. Kupp, Mrs. M. Lind, Miss R. Martinussen, C. Price, Mrs. D. Pruden, A. Schultz, Mrs. H. Sharmon, S. Sigurdson, J. Sigurjonsson, Mrs. M. Soloway

1968-1969

D. Curtis, Mrs. L. Dimerman, R. G. Duff, P. Huebner, Mrs. I. Humeny, T. Irwin, J. Kahana, P. Koo, Miss M. Leggatt, Mrs. M. Lind, Miss R. Martinussen, H. Paetkau, Mrs. M. J. Phillips, C. Price, Mrs. O. Pruden, Mrs. H. Sharman, S. Sigurdson, J. Sigurjonsson, Mrs. M. Soloway, D. Turner

Photos & Maps

Isbister School

Architectural drawing of Isbister School (no date)
Source: Province of Manitoba, Plans and Specifications for Rural Schools, 1903.
[Manitoba Legislative Library]

Isbister School

Postcard of Isbister School, circa 1912
Source: Rob McInnes

Isbister School

Isbister School (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Isbister School

Isbister School Plaque (2010)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Isbister School

Isbister School (2010)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Site Location (lat/long): N49.89272, W97.15035
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cecil Rhodes School (136 Cecil Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Isbister School No. 500 (RM of Springfield)

Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Kennedy Isbister (1822-1883)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Sources:

“The Isbister School,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 27 September 1898, page 4.

“Opening of city schools,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 2 September 1899, page 4.

“Assignment of teachers,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 1 September 1900, page 1.

“Holidays end Tuesday next,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 31 August 1901, page 10.

“The staff of city teachers,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 1 September 1902, page 3.

“City schools re-open Monday,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 August 1903.

“City schools open to-morrow,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 31 August 1904, page 3.

“Assignment of Winnipeg teachers,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 September 1905.

“Changes in city schools,” Manitoba Free Press, 31 August 1907.

“Re-opening of schools,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1908, page 1.

“Teachers named for all schools,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1910, page 3.

“Assignment of teachers for Winnipeg Schools which open on Sept. 15,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1911, page 9.

“City schools staff assembling in Sept.,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1912, page 8.

“Opening of the Winnipeg public schools has been set for Monday next,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 August 1913, pages 1 and 2.

“Here’s your teacher!” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 August 1914, page 6.

“School Board assigns teachers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 August 1915, page 9.

“Reduce staff of teachers at high schools Monday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 August 1916, pages 1 & 12.

“Boundaries of schools are named,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 24 August 1917, page 9.

“Complete plans to open schools Tuesday for 30,000 children,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 30 August 1918, page 14.

“Teachers are selected for various grades,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1919, page 3.

“Winnipeg schools, No. 12—Isbister,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 October 1922, page 3.

“Isbister early famed for sports, mouth organ band” by Claire Tisdale, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 January 1949.

Isbister School, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

We thank the Winnipeg School Division and Reid Dickie for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 28 January 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


Search Tips | Suggest a Site | FAQ | Acknowledgements

Send inquiries to the MHS Webmaster.

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2018 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.