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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Barber School No. 423 (Underhill, Municipality of Grassland)

The Barber School District was established formally in September 1885, and a one-room frame school building was erected on land purchased from John Underhill, at SE33-5-22W in what is now the Municipality of Grassland. It was named for local settler Nathaniel Barber who hauled timber from Brandon to construct the school. With the arrival in the area of the Hartney Subdivision of the Canadian National Railway in 1898, and the subsequent founding of the village of Underhill, the school was moved to this site. The original building was replaced in January 1928 and it served as the social centre of the community.

The school closed in June 1961 and the district was dissolved in January 1962. Its catchment area was divided between Hartney Consolidated School District and Elgin Consolidated School District. The building was sold and moved to Souris where it was converted into a church. A commemorative monument on the former school site was unveiled on 30 June 1991.

Among the teachers of Barber School were George Winters (1886) and Jean Howell (1961).

Barber School commemorative monument

Barber School commemorative monument (October 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Barber School commemorative monument

Barber School commemorative monument (October 2022)
Source: Kathryn Hyndman

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.44342, W100.38584
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Nathaniel Barber (1854-1933)


The Mere Living by Hazel McDonald Parkinson, 1957, Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.H37 Par, page 69.

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 Century of Living: Hartney, 1882-1982 by Hartney and District Historical Committee, 1982. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.H37 Cen]

We thank David Ford and Kathryn Hyndman for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 October 2022

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