Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ferndale School No. 498 (RM of Macdonald)

The Ferndale School District was organized in February 1887, in the Rural Municipality of Macdonald. A school building was erected at this site and it served as the centre for church services and other community events. It was replaced by a new building in 1940 and the old building was sold for use as a private residence. (It was re-sold in 1953 and moved to the Fort Garry area of Winnipeg where it continued use as a residence.) The school closed in 1960 and its remaining students went to Sanford Consolidated School No. 86 or Starbuck Consolidated School No. 1150. The school district was dissolved in July 1966. The building remained at the site until the summer of 2009 when it was burned during a firefighter training exercise. In 2011, former student Len Goldsborough began making preparations for a commemorative marker at the site of Ferndale School. The marker was unveiled in 2014.

Teachers at Ferndale School through the years included the following: Miss Taylor, W. R. Taylor, Miss Rankin, G. G. Newton, William MacKinnon, Miss Heslop, Miss Morley, E. Chequin, Mrs. Fraser, J. C. Switzer, J. F. Brooks, Miss McCrossars, Miss Douglas, Miss McKinney, Miss Young, Miss Wortman, Miss Mackenzie, Miss McLean, Mrs. Weir, Miss Attridge, Miss Laing, Belle Nugent (c1910-1913), Miss S. Hanley, Emma Thompson, Miss C. Johnson, Lottie Bere, Ruth Williams, Alice Pieper, Minnie Kelsey, Mary Andrews, Mrs. Nell McDowell, Vera Young, Miss M. Buck, Eleanor Vosper, Winnie Collins, Frances Fox, Beryl Rodgers, Jewel Grose, Myrtle Alexandra Wastle Aitchison, Lydia Steeves, A. F. Thomas, Miss E. Woodmansee, Reta Houston, Mrs. Morrow, Marge Poersch, Miss Gustafson, Bob Lillier, Daphne Clark, Miss E. Killoran, Mrs. E. Rhynard, Miss L. Hancock, Louise Ammeter, Lenore White, Margaret Stuart, Senta Ammeter, Frances Loree, Miss N. McMaster, Clara McLeod, Miss D. Schroeder, and Elizabeth Brims.

A commemorative monument near the former school site, also for the Ferndale United Church, was installed in October 2023.

The original Ferndale School

The original Ferndale School (no date) by E. D. Parker
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 74.

The second Ferndale School building

The second Ferndale School building (circa 1986)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Public School Buildings Inventory, slide 636.

Ferndale School commemorative sign

Ferndale School commemorative sign (September 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ferndale School and United Church commemorative monument and sign

Ferndale School and United Church commemorative monument and sign (October 2023)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.72390, W97.51570
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ferndale Methodist Church / Ferndale United Church (RM of Macdonald)

Manitoba Organization: Morris-Macdonald School Division School District No. 19


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 Study of Public School Buildings in Manitoba by David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1994, 230 pages.

Sanford-Ferndale 1871-1987 by Sanford-Ferndale History Committee, 1989, pages 84-87.

Financial support for research reported on this page was provided by the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program (grant 12F-C101, 2012-2013).

We thank Leonard H. Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 October 2023

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