Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brandon Hills School No. 138 (RM of Cornwallis)

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Photos & Coordinates | Sources

The Brandon Hills School District was established formally in January 1882 and a one-room, wood frame building was erected on the farm of Melville Roddick, on the northwest corner of 16-19-18W, in the Rural Municipality of Cornwallis, by the Fall of that year.

The original school building was destroyed by fire on 27 January 1915. A vacant Methodist parsonage was used as a temporary school until a replacement building was erected on the same site. The new building was made of brick, with a full basement, heated by a furnace. (Indoor toilets were not added until 1948.) It was built at a cost of $2,193 by Charles Hall of Brandon. In addition to serving the educational needs of the community, the school also was its social centre, being the venue for dances, whist drives, fowl suppers, birth and wedding showers, meetings, Mission Band, and Sunday School.

School enrollment varied year-by-year, reaching as high as 30 students, distributed between grades 1 through 9, and sometimes grade 10. When East Brandon School and Glen Souris School closed, their students came here. In March 1967, local ratepayers held a referendum and voted to dissolve the school district as of 1 April 1967, and the school was incorporated into the Brandon School Division No. 40. The school remained open for classes until the end of June 1968, after which students were bused to Brandon.

The former school building continues to be used as a local community centre.

Teachers at the Brandon Hills School through the years included: Mr. D. McKay (1882), F. H. Lamont (1886), Esther Burrows (1887), Mary Sproule (1887-1888), A. S. Morrison (1889), Thomas Cosserly (1889), John A. Morrison (1890-1891), Kate McLeod (1892), R. Harvey (1892-1893), John A. L. Morrison (1894-1896), S. A. Baird (1897-1898), Lewis B. Patterson (1899-1900), James B. Haig (1901), Jessie McKenzie (1903), Ernest Waugh (1904), G. E. Fraser (1905), S. F. Bolster (1906), Ida Smiley (1906-1907), Florence Langton (1907), Miss Tracy (1908), Ethel Pentland (1909), Florence Keeping (1910-1911), Bertha Chapin (1912-1913), Agnes Oversby (1914), Annie Dawley (1915), Catherine Simpson (1916), Grace Davidson (1917), Mabel Gardiner (1918-1919), G. I. Miller (1920-1921), Mabel Gardiner (1922), Grace Tucker (1922), Margaret MacKay (1923), Ruth Crawford (1924-1925), Nellie Synder (1926-1927), Olive Fogal (1928), Isabelle Johnson (1929), Ellenore McKenzie (1930-1931), Isabelle Gorrell (1932-1935), Mary Hazelwood (1936-1937), Jean Ritchie (1938-1940), Mary Revel (1941-1942), Doreen Metcalfe (1943), Marion Henselwood (1944), Dorothy Genest (1945-1946), Irene Jeffries (1947), Betty Jacques (1948), Lois Wolfe (1949), R. D. McBain (1950), Jean Mayberry (1951-1953), Dorothy Brownridge (1954), Dorothy Haithwaite (1955), Nelma Fetterman (1956-1957), Ruth Babcock (1958-1959), Nancy Henton (1960-1961), Diane Brown (1962), Norman Williamson (1962), Julia Wyton (1963-1964), Sheila Whyte (1965), Sylvia Nowasad (1966-1968).

Photos & Coordinates

Brandon Hills School

Brandon Hills School (no date) by A. J. Hatcher
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 47.

The former Brandon Hills School building

The former Brandon Hills School building (August 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Brandon Hills School building

The former Brandon Hills School building (May 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.75341, W99.87050
denoted by symbol on the map above


“Teachers at the convention,” Brandon Sun, 15 October 1920, page 6.

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.

The Brandon Hills Story by Murray McPherson, 1979.

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 Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 August 2021

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