Historic Sites of Manitoba: Shoal Lake School No. 458 (Shoal Lake, RM of Yellowhead)
The Lake View School District was organized formally in July 1885, named for the Shoal Lake in close proximity. With the coming of the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway, the town of Shoal Lake developed here. Classes were held in a railway freight shed until a schoolhouse could be built. With growing enrollment, elementary classes were later moved to the nearby Thompson’s Hall.
In 1906, a two-storey brick school building was erected by contractor E. R. Snider based on a design by F. R. Evans. It was replaced in 1926 with a one-storey red brick school designed by Winnipeg architect Gilbert C. Parfitt. (Similar schools were constructed in Brookdale, Deloraine, and Ninette.) The district was renamed Shoal Lake School in April 1937.
In 1956, it joined the school consolidation movement, becoming Shoal Lake Consolidated School No. 2352, by merging with rural schools in the surrounding area: Edgehill School No. 130 and King School No. 1337. It joined the Birdtail River School Division in 1959 and, two years later, a two-storey addition containing eight elementary classrooms, principal’s office, teachers’ room, library, and gymnasium was made to the red brick school, which became the high school. The older building was taken down and its lumber was used to construct two houses on Jane Street.
In 1978-1979, a larger gymnasium, science lab, library, and principal’s office were constructed, and officially opened in November 1979. The 1926 brick school building was demolished in the 1990s but a pair of metal signs at the site commemorate it.
Among the early teachers who worked at Shoal Lake School were Mr. Ambler (1886), Alice Victoria Short (1910s), Sarah Ann Sproat (1920-?), Dorothy Strachan (1927-1928), Alys D. Hunter (1935-1939), Sybil Shack, Charles T. Cresswell, and F. Douglas Crandle.
Photos & Coordinates
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
“School report,” Shoal Lake Star, 26 April 1928, page 1.
“Council reports,” Birtle Eyewitness, 3 October 1961, page 10.
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.
Ripples On The Lake: A History of Shoal Lake Municipality, 1884-1984 by Shoal Lake History Book Committee, 1984.
“Trustees conduct regular meeting,” Hamiota Echo, 13 September 1988, page 7.
“Teacher assistants,” Shoal Lake Star, 27 July 1998, page 8.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 5 September 2021