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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Polonia School No. 732 (Polonia, RM of Rosedale)

Formally established as Hun’s Valley School in December 1886, the first school was built in 1887 on a three-acre part of SW28-16-16 west of the Principal Meridian, one-half mile west of this monument on the north side of the road, east of the good sledding hill, in the Rural Municipality of Rosedale. It was constructed of vertically positioned logs, which soon deteriorated. In 1911, a second school was built of lumber for $936.75. It was on the school section, on the right side of the road, one mile west of this cairn, and probably was built there to accommodate the new Polish settlers arriving to homestead west of Polonia. This second school burned down in 1934. Pupils then attended classes temporarily in the church hall just east of the church until a third and final school, now called Polonia School as of 1921, was built at a cost of $1,690, again at the first site one-half mile west of this cairn.

In the early days, enollment ranged up to 60 or more students from grades 1 to 8, and sometimes a few correspondence students went beyond grade 8. A total of 34 different teachers taught in this school over the years, including ten Benedictine nuns who taught from September 1933 to December 1956. By the 1960s, the Beautiful Plains School Division was formed, building larger centralized schools and providing education up to grade 12, to which students were bused. Polonia School closed in June 1968 and remaining students were bused to Neepawa. The building was sold and became part of an implement building in Neepawa.

A monument was dedicated on 26 July 2009 to the pioneers, teachers, students, and trustees of Polonia School.

Polonia School

The former Polonia School building (circa 1990)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 557.

Polonia School

Polonia School monument (2010)
Source: Allan Drysdale

Site Location (lat/long): N50.38869, W99.62164
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

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.

The Beautiful Plains Story: 1983-2008 by Neepawa and Area History Committee, 2008, page 162.

This page was prepared by Allan Drysdale and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 July 2017

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