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Historic Sites of Manitoba: River Valley School No. 879 (RM of Wallace-Woodworth)

The River Valley School District No. 879 was established formally in February 1896 with a stone school building erected later that year by contractors Reid and Craig for the sum of $700. Named for its position in the Assiniboine River Valley northeast of Virden in what is now the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth, the school opened with 33 students taught by Mr. Brokenshire, the minister at Breadalbane Church.

The school was the educational and social centre of the area until it closed in 1955 and its remaining students went to Virden Consolidated School No. 144. The district was dissolved in July 1966. Renovations to the building since its closure have included the replacement of stones in its southwest corner with concrete, and the bricking over of several window openings.

The former school, along with a picnic area and campsite, is operated as an tourist site by volunteers of the River Valley Historical Society. Those interested in a tour should call 204-748-3920 or 204-748-1461. A plaque mounted on the building door in 1995 commemorates Agnes Anderson for her years of service to the facility. A plaque on the building exterior, dedicated on 3 August 1996, commemorates the students, teachers, and families of the River Valley School District.

River Valley School

River Valley School (no date) by W. R. Beveridge
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-2, page 16.

River Valley School

River Valley School (1967)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Architectural Survey - Virden District 17.

River Valley School

River Valley School (1967)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Architectural Survey - Virden District 18.

The former River Valley School building

The former River Valley School building (circa 1989)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 1567.

The former River Valley School building

The former River Valley School building (September 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former River Valley School building

The former River Valley School building (July 2019)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.87939, W100.83091
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Breadalbane Presbyterian Church (RM of Wallace-Woodworth)

Sources:

The Virden Story by Ida Clingan, 1957.

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.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 August 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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

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