Historic Sites of Manitoba: Aberdeen School / High Bluff Village School No. 771 (High Bluff, RM of Portage la Prairie)
A school district was esablished formally in the village of High Bluff, in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie, in August 1893. Known originally as Aberdeen School, the name was already in use in southwest Manitoba and there was already a High Bluff School (which later adopted the name Old High Bluff School), so it became High Bluff Village School. Land was purchased for $140 from John Dilworth and a school building was erected by carpenter B. Whitmore at a cost of $810. On 1 November 1893, it opened for classes under teacher Miss M. Wallace, who was paid an annual salary of $480.
In 1903, the building was moved slightly on its lot and put onto a stone basement equipped with a furnace and pump, and the school yard was fenced. A bell, installed in the school belfry in 1907, was later moved to a commemorative cairn as a Canadian centennial project. To accommodate a growing number of high school students, an addition was made to the original classroom, and it opened in November 1916. A teacherage was added in 1938.
In 1963, the school merged with Old High Bluff School No. 13, Cochrane School No. 43, North High Bluff School No. 23, Flee Island School No. 527, and Portage Creek School No. 505 to form High Bluff Consolidated School No. 2418. In 1964, a new five-room school was built and it opened the next year. The district was dissolved in April 1967 and the school joined the Portage la Prairie School Division No. 24. It has now closed and students from the High Bluff area are now bussed to Portage la Prairie.
A commemorative monument, topped by the bell from the former school, was erected on the school grounds on 1 July 1967. A plaque providing a history of the school was affixed to it in 2001.
Photos & Coordinates
Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.
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.
Rural Schools of Portage la Prairie School Division #24 by Muriel Wright, 1996.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 May 2023