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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Woolwich School No. 1968 (RM of Hanover)

The Woolwich School District was established in April 1919 and a one-room schoolhouse was built in the village of Old Barkfield at 7-5-5E in the Rural Municipality of Hanover. In the summer and fall of 1938, a new wood frame building was constructed at SW8-5-5E. It opened for classes in November 1938 and, at some point, the former schoolhouse was moved to the site for use as a teacherage. The school closed in 1967 and henceforth students were bused to Goodwill School. The district was dissolved and its catchment area became part of the Hanover School Division. The site and buildings were sold, the teacherage having burned down in the late 1960s. The school building was moved to Grunthal. The only vestige remaining at the site is the school’s shelterbelt of trees. In 2013, a commemorative sign was erected at the site by the EastMenn Historical Society.

Among the teachers who worked at Woolwich School between 1923 and 1941 were Julie McEachran, Elizabeth Keating, Andrew R. Sobering, H. Johnson, Harriett Scarlet, Mrs. K. A. Surrey, Agnes Willms, and Jacob Penner. Other teachers included Margaret Giesbrecht (c1952), Miss Marion Poetker (1952-1953), Peter Sawatsky (1953-1958), Margaret Franz (1958-1965), and Edward “Ed” Thiessen (1965, 1966-1967), and Mrs. L. Giesbrecht (1965, substitute).

Original Woolwich School, which later became a teacherage at the new school site

Original Woolwich School, which later became a teacherage at the new school site (no date) by A. A. Herriot
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-3, page 69.

Second Woolwich School building

Second Woolwich School building (no date) by A. A. Herriot
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-3, page 69.

Students and teacher of Woolwich School

Students and teacher of Woolwich School (Fall 1952)
Source: Ernest Braun

Site Location (lat/long): N49.36984, W96.89131
denoted by symbol on the map above


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.

Schools - Our Heritage: From 46 School Districts to Hanover Unitary School Division (1878-1968) by John K. Schellenberg, The Board of The Hanover School Division No. 15, May 1985, ISBN 0-919673-93-7.

Manitoba School Records Collection, Woolwich School District No. 1968 - Daily Registers, GR2656, Archives of Manitoba.

We thank Nathan Kramer along with Glen Klassen and Ernest Braun of the EastMenn Historical Society for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 April 2019

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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