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Manitoba
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No. 87


This Old
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Memorable
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Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sturgeon Creek School / Kirkfield Park School (615 School Road, Winnipeg)

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

The first school in this area (at one time in the RM of Assiniboia and today part of Winnipeg) was Sturgeon Creek School No. 30, whose district was established in January 1876. In 1904, a two-storey wood frame schoolhouse, measuring 20 by 30 feet, was constructed on Lot 114 in the Parish of St. Charles, at 3085 Portage Avenue. It had four classrooms for classes in grades 1 to 9, and the structure featured oiled wood floors and a wood-fired furnace. The second floor was expanded in 1906 and the basement was enlarged in 1907 on a design by architect Frank R. Evans.

By 1949, the 45-year-old building was showing its age, notably creaking and shaking when buffeted by strong winds. Filled to its 150-pupil capacity, an additional 80 students attended classes in the Sturgeon Creek Municipal Hall across the road. In June 1949, Principal Frances Ateah invited in newspaper reporters to show them its unsafe condition. Outraged local parents demanded that the building be replaced.

Construction of what became known as Kirkfield Park School #1, at 3195 Portage Avenue, began in 1949 but was delayed by the onset of the 1950 Winnipeg flood and labour action. The four-classroom wood frame and stucco structure was built by Building Mechanics Limited at a cost of $49,850 and was completed around mid-September 1950.

Built in 1953 just west of School #1, at the corner of School Road and Portage Avenue, the cornerstone of Kirkfield Park School #2 was laid on 21 September 1953. Attending the ceremony were School Inspector H. R. Brown, architects Walter Katelnikoff and Dennis H. Carter (of the firm Smith, Carter, Katelnikoff), School Board Chairman Mr. F. Benjaminson, trustees Mrs. H. McBride, Mr. V. Harbottle, and Mr. M. Schneider, Principal Joseph Antonin “Tony” Duhamel, Secretary-Treasurer Mrs. R. A. Sansome, and M. Solonyka of Semmier Construction Company. On 23 November 1953, it was officially opened by W. C. Miller. The eight-classroom facility cost about $83,000 to build and initially hosted around 260 pupils. A four-classroom addition was built in 1955 at a cost of $36,000. Grades 1 and 2 were held in School #1 while grades 3 to 11 were in School #2. During the fall of 1963, construction began on a gymnasium, a new heating plant for Schools #1 and #2, and other renovations, completed at a cost of $144,425.

Following a Department of Education decision to make local school boards responsible for the education of students with disabilities, the facility was converted into an educational centre for such students. It replaced a previous facility at the Kinsmen School, which then realigned to focus on pre-school ages. Operational costs were split between the Assiniboine North School Division and the St. James School Division. After a few renovations, the facility opened in September 1967 with six classrooms and 57 students. The former students of Schools #1 and #2 were accommodated temporarily at Heritage School or Lincoln School while Arthur Oliver School was being constructed and they went there starting in 1968.

The school was closed in 1990 and its students were accommodated in other area schools. The building and property was put up for sale in 1993 and the building was demolished. The site is presently occupied by a supermarket and its parking lot.

Principals

Period

Principal

?-1910

Elizabeth “Lisbeth” Robertson (1878-1952)

1910-1930

Catherine Annie Dohaney (1877-1960)

1930-1944

Thomas Wilbert “Wib” Emerson (1888-1969)

1944-1953

Frances Elizabeth Ateah (1910-1990)

1953-1957

Joseph Antonin “Tony” Duhamel (1919-2003)

1957-1959

Raymond Arthur Joseph “Ray” Labelle (c1931-1981)

1959-1962

John Sigfus Helgason (?-1978)

1962-1963

Nicholas “Nick” Kohuch (1926-2015)

1963-1964

Nicholas “Nick” Kohuch (1926-2015) - mornings
Michael A. “Mike” Yaremchuk - afternoons

1964-1965

Emile Dupas

1965-1966

Dennis Neil Stefanson (1939-2010)

1966-1967

William “Bill” Burdeniuk (1932-2010)

1967-1972

Andrew Otchenash (1927-2007)

1972-1973

Jack Elliott

1973-1977

?

1977-1981

Anne Masniuk

1981-1986

David James Bertnick (1947-2017)

1986-1987

Daryl Johnson

1987-1988

?

1988-1990

Betty Rae

Teachers

School Year

Teachers

1925-1926

Catherine Annie Dohaney

1926-1927

Catherine Annie Dohaney, Elizabeth Hetherington, M. E. Small

1927-1928

Catherine Annie Dohaney, Rae M. Scott, Dorothy Dafoe, Jessie Taylor

1928-1929

Catherine Annie Dohaney, Elizabeth Hetherington, Dorothy Dafoe, Mary Catherine Unger

1929-1930

Catherine Annie Dohaney, Elizabeth Hetherington

1930-1931

Mary Davies, Mary Catherine Unger, Thomas W. Emerson

1931-1932

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman

1932-1933

Mary Catherine Unger

1933-1934

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, Marguerite G. Ross, Thomas W. Emerson

1934-1935

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1935-1936

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1936-1937

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1937-1938

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1938-1939

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1939-1940

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1940-1941

Mary Davies, Edith Angela Waterman, A. Merle Cox, Thomas W. Emerson

1941-1942

Edith Angela Waterman, Annie Kathleen Tod, Grace Murley Wadge, Marguerite Hope Bullard (1942), Thomas W. Emerson

1942-1943

Annie Kathleen Tod, Clifford Dalbert Hall, Myrtle Geraldine Rusenel, Thomas W. Emerson

1943-1944

Annie Kathleen Tod, Emily Leona Gardiner, Verna Florence Taylor, Thomas W. Emerson

1944-1945

Winnifred Lease (1944), Ruth Elizabeth Galbraith (1945), Gladys J. Lane, Clara Louise Thornton, Frances E. Ateah

1945-1946

Ruth Elizabeth Galbraith, Elsie Kostiuk, Bertha Mary Ellison, Frances E. Ateah

1946-1947

Ruth Elizabeth Galbraith, Mary Esther Dempsey, Violet Perledene Bailie, Annie Marguerite Thorpe, Elsie Kostiuk, Frances E. Ateah

1947-1948

Ruth Elizabeth Galbraith, Mary Esther Dempsey, Lillian Bertha Mazurkiewicz, Evelyn Gladys MacKinley (1947), Raeleen Kulba, Frances E. Ateah

1948-1949

Lillian Bertha Mazurkiewicz, Ella Audrey Brown (1948), Evelyn Podalsky, Frances E. Ateah

1949-1950

Eva Greenburg, Irene May Fraser, Eleanor M. Zilkie, Joyce Lorraine McConnell, Hedwig Margaret Strand, Frances E. Ateah

1950-1951

Joyce Lorraine McConnell, Adolphe Sochaski, Mary Funk Badman, Christina Fraser, Irene May Fraser, Ida D. Dushenko, Hedwig Margaret Strand, Frances E. Ateah

1951-1952

Ada Isabel Moore, Bernice Marie Berthelette, Eleanor Lydia Siemens, Ella S. Anderson, Ame Shrabek (substitute, 1952), Ida D. Dushenko, Hedwig Margaret Strand

1952-1953

Emma Clarke, Evelyn R. Black, Joseph A. “Tony” Duhamel, Mary Ewashko, Melville Henderson Pearce, Rossie T. J. Lundy, Jean Margaret Adams, Theresa Yvonne Petit

1953-1954

Marie-Jean Baril, Mary Emma Watson, Mary Bilash, Irene Sulymka, Jeannette Wilkie, Grace Emily Stevens, Annie Marguerite Thorpe, Mary Ewashko, Jean Margaret Adams, Theresa Yvonne Petit, Joseph A. “Tony” Duhamel

1954-1955

Marie-Jean Baril, Mary Emma Watson, Mary Bilash, Irene Sulymka, Mary Ewashko, Grace Emily Stevens, Jean Margaret Adams, Theresa Vyonne Chartrand (1954), Gloris Doris Martens (1955), Stefan Bjorgvin Stefansson, Annette Manchur, Mary Jane Phillips, Edith Anita Havixbeck, Joseph A. “Tony” Duhamel

1955-1956

?

1956-1957

?

1957-1958

Morris Hryhor (grade 10)

Photos & Maps

Students at the Kirkfield Park School deemed by its Principal to be a “death trap”

Students at the Kirkfield Park School deemed by its Principal to be a “death trap” (1949)
Source: Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1949, page 1.

Site Location (lat/long): N49.88157, W97.28975
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Arthur Oliver School (647 School Road, Winnipeg)

Sources:

“Notice,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 November 1905, page 2.

“Tenders,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 May 1906, page 2.

“Tenders,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 August 1907, page 2.

“Local notes,” Manitoba Free Press, 14 October 1911, page 34.

“Personal and social,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 July 1917, page 3.

“Social and personal,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 September 1930, page 8.

“School ‘fire death trap,’ claims suburb principal,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1949, page 1.

“Suburban school,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1949, page 2.

“Trustees lack cash to build school,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 June 1949, page 17.

“Tenders,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 March 1950, page 25.

“Sturgeon Creek School construction progress,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 July 1950, page 3.

“Flood and strike,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 September 1950, page 3.

“Heavy construction program is planned,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 1953, page 3.

“Sturgeon Creek School vote Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 1953, page 3.

[Photo caption], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 1953, page 11.

“Miller to open Kirkfield Park School,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 November 1953, page 3.

“Sturgeon Creek,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 August 1955, page 3.

“The Kirkfield Park School District No. 30” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 1964, page 14.

“Assiniboia school construction starts,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 1967, page 28.

“Taking the initial step to happiness,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1967, page 6.

Obituary [Stefan Bjorgvin Stefansson (1889-1971)], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1971, page 36.

“Two schools to close,” Winnipeg Free Press Weekly West Edition, 3 June 1990, page 3.

“Board credits closings for keeping levies down,” Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 1993, page B3.

“School buildings for sale,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1993, page B20.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Manitoba School Records Collection (GR9926), Sturgeon Creek / Kirkfield Park School District No. 30 Daily Attendance Registers, Archives of Manitoba.

Kirkfield Park School History, 1904-1974, St. James Assiniboia School Division, circa 1974.

We thank the St. James Assiniboia School Division, Mari-Jean Nachtigall, and Robert Harbottle for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 October 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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