Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ryerson United Church / Ryerson School No. 360 / Maskawata Post Office (RM of Wallace-Woodworth)

A concrete monument in the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth, unveiled in July 1980, commemorates Ryerson Church, which operated from 1883 to 1939, Ryerson School No. 360, which operated from 1886 to 1967, and Maskawata Post Office, which operated from 1884 to 1939. Next to the monument is a bell which probably came from Ryerson School. Records for the church are held by the United Church Archives.

Among the teachers of Ryerson School were Robert Goodwin, Mr. J. E. Lane, Mr. Clayton, Miss Patrick, Mrs. William Cochrane, Nellie Henrietta “Nell” Koester (1929-1931, wife of Donald Hood Slimmon), Ethel Catherine Edwards (1931-1933), Lillian Tesley McKenzie (1934-1935), Florence Aitken (1937-1938), Mrs. P. M. Cairns (1940-1941), Elizabeth Jane Wilson (1941-1942), Susanne Fehr (1942-1943), Mary Findlay Stalker (1943), Johanna Coulthard (1944), Myrtle Cook (1944), Lucille Ruth Irwin (1944-1947), Dorothy Ellen Archibald Smith (1947-1948, 1951), Margaret Frame (1948-1950), George Ivan McBurney (1950), L. M. Budz (1951), Shirley Elizabeth Fisher (1951-1953), Margaret Bernice Johnston (1958-1961), Inez Madeline Iverson (1961-1962), Marion Myrta Douglas (1962-1964), Patricia Lorraine Lonsdale (1964-1965), and Winnie Steen (?-?).

The postmasters at Maskawata were D. McCallum (1884-1904), William T. Cowing (1905-1924), and May Orphant Cowing (1924-1939). The Cowings served in the position, using the Sloan family residence as the the post office, until Rural Route #1 was established and delivery to mailboxes at the site commenced. The Sloan farmhouse and ancillary buildings were derelect by the 1960s and were removed in the 1970s.

Ryerson School

Ryerson School (no date) by W. R. Beveridge
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 26.

Ryerson School just before its permanent closure

Ryerson School just before its permanent closure (1967)
Source: Phillis Cairns and Kurt Dorward

The former Ryerson School building

The former Ryerson School building (no date)
Source: Trevor Slimmon

Unveiling the commemorative monument at the Ryerson School building

Unveiling the commemorative monument at the Ryerson School building (July 1980)
Source: Trevor Slimmon

Unveiling the commemorative monument at the Ryerson School building

Maskawata post office at the Sloan family residence (no date)
Source: Trevor Slimmon

Ryerson commemorative monument

Ryerson commemorative monument (September 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.85721, W100.57708
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ryerson School / Prairie Sunrise School (10 Ryerson Avenue, Winnipeg)


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.

Ox Trails to Blacktop by Oak Lake History Committee, 1982. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F 5649.O23 Oxt]

Manitoba School Records Collection (GR 1811), Ryerson School District No. 360 Daily Registers, Archives of Manitoba.

“Lenore news,” Hamiota Echo, 10 July 1980, page 11.

Post Offices and Postmasters, Library and Archives Canada.

Ryerson United Church Fonds

Obituary [Nell Slimmon], Brandon Sun, 2 January 1997, page 10.

We thank Kurt Dorward and Trevor Slimmon for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 20 March 2022

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