Grand Marais School, Grand Marais

The Reverend A. Edward Thomas, a retired Church of England Missionary, was in Winnipeg at the Parliament Buildings during the year 1915 agitating for the formation
of a school district to be set up at Grand Marais. He talked to everybody who would listen.

However, it was Councillor H.G. Thomas of the R.M. of St. Clements who introduced the subject formally when he gave notice on March 7, 1916 that at the next meeting he would introduce a by-law to form a new school in tp. 18-7E. On April 4, 1916 bylaw No. 120
requested permission to form the Grand Marais S.D. and bylaw No. 121 was permission to change the boundaries of Balsam Bay.

The Reverend Mr. Thomas had organized the petition praying for the Grand Marais S.D. and Councillor H.G. Thomas had presented it to Council. It was stated on the petition that there were 32 children of school age within the proposed boundary and that the nearest school was some 4 1/2 miles distant from the proposed site. They also indicated that a suitable school site was obtainable at Sec. 16 NW 1/4 of 18-7E, and that the name proposed by the petitioners for the new district was Grand Marais, and that the first meeting would be held at the home of Mr. Thomas. Knott, on Sec. 9-18.7E.

The School District of Grand Marais was finally formed on April 4, 1916 by by-law No. 120 of the Council of the R.M. of St. Clements to consist of the following lands (Boundary): Fractional Sec. 7, all of Sec. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, fractional 17, 18, 19, and 20, all of 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, fractional 29, all of 33, and 34 in tp. 18-7E, and fractional sec. 13, and 24 in tp. 18-6E.

The full corporate name of the district was “The school District of Grand Marais No. 1825 “. The above boundary affected the Balsam Bay S.D. and it had to be altered in April 1916 to allow the Grand Marais formation.

The Rev. Alfred E. Thomas was the first Sec. Treas., the first school teacher was W.J. “Script” Robinson. The school was opened in Feb. 1917 and was a very neat structure measuring about 22 x 26 ft. and was built of concrete.

One of the first things the community arranged was a concert which netted them the sum of $30.00 which was used to buy books and other necessities for the school. The new school building was also used for religious Purposes at the beginning.

A listed later the people of the district volunteered to build an outside shed for the protection of horses, just in time for the gov’t nurse who visited the school to inspect
the general health of the scholars in March 1917.

Mr. W.G. Michael was the next Sec. Treas. and he lived at the SW 1/4 of 16-18-7E. Then Mr. Willows, Official Trustee, who lived at 29 Lenore St. in Winnipeg took over the accounts in 1925.

Then the Jackfish Lake area petitioned in Oct. 1925 for a new school district and the prayers were granted. This approval affected and altered the Grand Marais district
boundary when the Dept. detached Sec. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,23,24 and 26 in tp. 18-7E, and transferred them to the Dunlop S.D. No. 2150.

This particular arbitration award was held up for a spell owing to the death of Inspector Willows and until Inspector Dunlop took over the final arrangements. Some of the land sat in unorganized territory, The Grand Marais school had their financial account
with the Dominion Bank in Selkirk.

During 1917, Rev. E. Thomas listed the expenses as $617.00 with $20 being spent on fuel. The estimate of the amounts to be received by Grand Marais were listed as 65
cents per teaching day/legislative grant ($30.00) and the General School Tax at $1.20 per teaching day which totalled $240.00. The Special District Tax totalled

ln 1918, it appears the S.D. spent about $1,309.00 with salaries eating up $450 for that year, $200 on debentures with the interest at $108.00. Furnishings and repairs cost $195.00 while the fuel cost $36.00.

Sec. Treas. W.G. Michael filled out the notices to Council during the years 1920 to 1924, and it is to be noted that the legislative grant was 75 cents per teaching day and that the General School Tax had increased to $3.60 per teaching day while the Special District Tax was now $730.00 in 1922. ln 1922, Mr. Michael reported that they had spent $200.00 on the school building and $50.00 on furnishings. The fuel cost $22.00 while the teaching salary plus Sec. Treas. payment was budgeted for $1,000.00. The debenture and interest totalled about $200.00.

In April 1925, Thos. Bunn, the Sec. Treas. of Sr. Clements, wrote to the Grand Marais School advising them that the boundaries of the municipality had been changed and that part of Grand Marais S.D. was now in unorganized territory and that the school would be responsible for the collection of taxes in the territory.

The Grand Marais assessment for 1938 was listed as having 2,410 acres with a total assessment of $193,180. (selling value) with business totaling only about $2500.00. The businesses were located at Plan 2541, 2639,27 41,2855, and 2948.

In 1929 the land had totaled 2316 acres and with assessment listed as $ 143,080.00.
Mr. A. Tomlinson was the Official Trustee administering the accounts by 1940.

The municipality had trouble collecting taxes in the district and arrears were mounting up and finally by June 1944, the unpaid arrears of school levies due to Grand Marais S.D. totalled about $1,148.94. Some portions of these unpaid levies had been owing for a considerable time. A compromise was struck and Grand Marais signed a release and accepted $574.47 as full payment and satisfaction of all arrears (enacted by by-law No. 1144 dated Oct. 23, 1944).

The district had built another one-room school in the 1930’s and had added another room on.

In 1953, the Grand Marais school could now boast four rooms. J.A. Cameron was the Official Trustee who kept his eyes on the accounts. It is to be noted that there appeared to be about 98 resident freeholders and 797 non-resident freeholders (owners of summer cottages) located within the school boundary. When the fourth room was added to the school, other renovations were completed such as plumbing, hydro and a furnace.

The boundary changed in 1956 (Nov.) when Sec. 33-18- 7E was transferred from Grand Marais S.D. to Belier S.D. No. 2165. School inspectors W.S. Paterson looked after this petition. Reuben Thomas and J. Marko were the Councillors moving the motion needed to put this transfer into effect. The children sitting on 33-18-7E were only 2 miles from Belier S.D. and nearly 4 miles from Grand Marais. This award became effective on Jan. 1, 1957.

When the 4 room Walter Whyte Collegiate was set up for providing the area with high school classes (Grades 9 to 11) the Grand Marais school which had been teaching
high school classes (up to Grade 11) reverted back to Grade 1 to 8.

Once the Walter Whyte Collegiate had increased in building size and became a school housing Kindergarten to Grade 9 in 1970, the Grand Marais School transferred classes to that school and closed its doors.

The whole area had come under the authority of the Lord Selkirk School Division which had been declared a division by order-in-council No. 224 effective April 1, 1967 .

The Grand Marais school building was eventually turned over to the Grand Marais Recreation Association, where it continued to fill a great need in the community
providing recreational facilities for the residents.

Recently the old building was damaged by fire and underwent extensive repairs and remodeling. During 1983, it is still being used as a club, recreation hall, curling and skating rink change house.

The first school made of concrete or cement still stands about 1/2 mile from the Grand Beach Provincial Park “east gate” as Betty Link later has mentioned.

The Grand Marais teachers over the years have been listed from 1917 up to 1966, just prior to consolidation. Some of the Sec. Treas. and Official Trustees over the years were: Rev. A.E. Thomas, W.G. Michael, A. Willows, J.A.S. Dunlop, A. Tomlinson, J.A. Cameron, H.R. Brown, A.A. MacDonald, R.D. Doherty, B. Crafton. C. Wilson, and C. Budle.

In conclusion, we share with you a few photographs gathered and submitted by Betty Link later. Following is a list of the reaches of Grand Marais:

W.J. Robinson 1917
Anna Hermann 1917-1918
W.H. Jones 1918
Anna Hermann l9l9
Annie E. Mills 1920
Florence E.M. McNee 1920
Rose Barnes l92l
Mary Margette McDougall l92l
Gertrude V. McCandless 1922-1923
Lillian Travers 1924
Hazel Grace Smith 1924-1926
Annie Lucille Thompson 1926-192’7
Myrtle Anna Swain 192’7 -1928
Dorothy Harnott Dutton 1928- 1929
Linda Jones 1929-1930
Erhel M. Hicks 1929-1930
Lucy Evaline Mills 1930-1932
Elly S. Peters 1930-1932
Mary Jean Irene Gunn 1932-1933
Mary Elizabeth Mclaren 1932- 1933
Mildred Marion Pepper 1933- 1936
Elizabeth Agnes Sawyer I933- 1936
Margaret Catherine Knight 1 936-l 939
Edith Mary Baker 1936-1939
Lillian Rose Fanstone 1939-1941
Annie Sims 1939-1941
Erna Emilie Ozol l94l-1944
Laura Kathleen Brock 1941
Margaret Anne Ursel 1942
Eleanor Lillian Adele Schmok 1942-1944
Vlasra Matejka 1944-1945
Vary Pau line Lysaichuk 1944-1945
Inga Storgaard 1945-1946
Bessie Eris Vera Richtik 1945-1946
Marie Reicksiedler 194’7 -1948
Jean Mary Funk 1947
Helen Cecilia Bonnell 194’7 -1948
Miss lrene Ruth Trapp 1948-1949
E. Joyce Reeves 1948-1949
Josephine Lorraine Lupkowski 1949 -19 52
Frank Nicholas Lupokowski 1949-1959
Jessie Norreen McConnell I 952-1 953
Marie R. Reicksiedlet 1953-1964
Lawrence W. Fenarin 1953- 1954
S. Marie I. Elder 1954-1955
Daniel Borteau 1954-1966
Mary F. Kaminsky 1955- 1957
Miss Ileen Drad 1957-1958
Miss Anna J. Johnson 1958- 1961
Miss Ileen Drad l96l-1965
Winnifred G. Thomas 1964-1965
Mrs. Ileen Anderson 1965- 1966
Marie R. Reicksiedler 1965-1966
Alfred C. Chorney 1966
Mrs. Shirley Schwinghammer 1966
J.D. Schwinghammer 1966a

Submitted by shl.

Grand Marais School.

The “Old Cement School” was built in 1913 or 1914, it is still standing, and is about 1/2 a mile from the Grand Beach Provincial Parks East Cate. The first schoolteacher was “Script Robinson.” Later on, in the early 1930’s, a one-room school was built in Grand
Marais, by 1945 an extra room was added on. One of the teachers in 1945 was Bessie lrvine. In the middle of the 1950’s two more rooms were added on, at that time Marie
Recksiedler, Anna Johnson Dave Baiteau and Frank Lupkowski were the teachers. In 1969 the schools of Victoria Beach, Hillside Beach, Belier, Grand Marais, OId Cement School, Grand Marais. At one time it had a bell towel Balsam Bay, Beaconia and Stoney Point were consolidated, and all children of the area went to the new Walter Whyte School out on Hwy. 59 and 12.

Submitted by Betty Linklater

Greenwald S.D. NO. 1160

The Greenwald School District was formed on Jan. 25, 1902 by the Municipality of St. Clements.

The boundaries were readjusted in 1926 and again in 1935 and 1936. As of Oct. 19, 1935, the lands contained in the S.D. were: Sec. 19, 30, and 31, in 15-8E, Sec.6, in 16-8E, Sec. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, and 36 in 15-78, and Sec. 1, 2, 3, 10, and 11, in 16-7E. In June of 1936, by order-in-council (716/36) Greenwald lost more land when the N 1/2 and SE 1/4 of 6-16-8E was transferred to Thatberg South S.D. No. 1141 effective July 1, 1936.

School finances, prior to and during the Second World War, were somewhat in a mess, due to arrears of taxes. By Dec. 31, 1942, St. Clements was having difficulty
advancing any more monies to meet the demands of the district. Finally, in mid-1943, a compromise settlement was arrived at between the S.D. and the Munc. The arrears totalled about $1,288.00 and the S.D. executed a release and accepted $644. l0 from the Munc. wiping out all previous debt.

Then in 1945, there started a controversy that was to continue for many years. It appears there were about 14 children living on the east side of the Brokenhead River.
They could travel to the west side easy enough in winter, by crossing over the frozen ice. However, in the spring, summer and till freeze up they had to reach school by means of a few planks precariously supported by a couple of posts, which spanned a drainage ditch immediately north of the Kozera residence. To reach the planks, the
children had to go across Kozera’s farmyard. The planks were not by any means safe even in dry weather and definitely hazardous during wet weather. ‘I re foot bridge
was repaired in 1946.

Also in Jan. 1945, the Greenwald boundary was adjusted further (by arbitration dating back to March 10, 1944) detaching SW 23, all of Sec. 22-15-7E from Greenwald and transferring same to the Mars S.D. No. 177 4.

The footbridge problem erupted again in Dec. 1959. At
a Special Ratepayers meeting held on Sat. Dec. 12, 1959,
the people of Greenwald threatened to petition for a new
school district for the east side of the Brokenhead if St.
Clements didn’t build a new bridge. They wanted immediate
action or they would let it go to arbitration.

However, things simmered down a little for a time. The boundary of Greenwald was confirmed by bylaw No. 1207 of the Munc. of St. Clements on Nov. 14, 1950 as being: Sec. 23, except the SW I /4, 24, 25, 26, 2’l, 34, 35, 36, in l5-7E, Sec. 19, 30, and 3l in 15-88., Sec. 1, 2, 3, 10, I l, in 16-7E, and Sec. SW I /4 of 6 in l6-8E.

In May 1953, a resolution was passed by the Greenwald S.D. requesting St. Clements to approve a road on the north side of the “T” drain between Sec. 25 and 36 in tp.
l5-7E. Earlier in the spring a petition had been signed praying for the road (to serve the children) running from the highway to the river.

Toward the end of Jan. 1960, the trustees of Greenwald S.D. during their regular Board meeting agreed unanimously that they didn’t want to build another school on the east side of the river, but would prefer the pupils living on the east side to attend Greenwald.
However, there was still the question of the walking bridge. The condition, they felt, was beyond repair and had to be replaced. Therefore, why not replace it with a “driving bridge” safe for the vehicle traffic and place it at the foot bridge site, thus solving Greenwald’s problem of east-side access,

Council on Feb. 9, 1960 decided to proceed with their efforts to re-construct the bridge at 34-15-7E and this annoyed Greenwald and they wrote to the Dept. of Educ. voicing a complaint about the bridge.

The Dept. of Educ. wrote to St. Clements about the bridge decision, although bridges were outside their jurisdiction, and suggested the footbridge location would be in the best interests other children. The Prov. Dept. of Public Works and Highways as early as Feb. 1960 had told St. Clements that a bridge would cost about $40,000 at 34-15-78, while a footbridge would cost at least $8,500 and a 10 foot, one-way vehicle passage would total another $20,000.

In July 1961 bylaw No. 1534 was prepared to answer to a petition to form the new S.D. of Hofer where there were 25 children situated on two parcels: NE l/4 of 26- l5-7E consisting of 159 acres. The other parcel was the NW l/4 of 25-15-‘7E with 98 acres, except an area traversed of the Brokenhead River on part of NW l/4 registered at the LTO as No. 2677 and also the southerly 302 in depth of the most northerly 1492 in depth of the most westerly 322 feet in width of the NW 1/4 of Sec. 25- l5-73.

The Hofer S.D. (bylaw No. 1534) received 3 readings and was approved by March 15, 1962 effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 1962.

Then by Nov. 1964, both the Brokenhead S.D. No. 472 and the Greenwald S.D. No. l160 had petitioned for union consolidation. The Arbitrators met at the Brokenhead School and the Award dated March 29, 1965 (signed by Fred Small, John A. Otto, Wm. Brodsky and K. Pokrant Sec.) granted approval for consolidation. The new consolidated district would be named “The consolidated School Detect of Brokenhead No. 2436”
effective Jan. l, 1966 and considered as being in Ward two other Agassiz School Division No. 13.

The old Greenwald cheer was now only a memory: “Zip, Zo, Zay, we’re from Greenwald, we’re okay!” or “1160 Let them know, We’re from Greenwald never

As for the Secretary-Treasurers, it would appear that those in charge of the Greenwald Accounts were: A. Trapp, Dan Zieski, August Froehlich, Fred Hlady, Henry Froehlich, Paul C. Trapp, Ralph King, Fred Kurbis, Peter Kozera (also Henry Schade from about
1952 to 1956).

The budgets for Greenwald fluctuated according to their needs and the amounts they asked St. Clements to levy and collect were based on estimated expenditure, only. We list here a few sample years that were submitted to the council, usually in June of each year.


1930 $ 1,270.00
1931 870.00
1932 795.00
1933 ‘,770.00
1934 690.00
1936 800.00 193’7 910.00


700.00 80.00
520.00 50.00
520.00 50.00
440.00 50.00
450.00 50.00
500.00 50.00

We would like to share the names of most all of the teachers who taught at Greenwald S.D. No. 1160:

Karl Kaufman 1905
Sadie M- Furst 1906-1908
Adolf Guse 1908-1920
Mrs. Medarie Poitras Rock 1920-1923
Alice Donovan 1923
Mary J. Parkins 1924
Henry Graff 1924-1931
Petter Martin Juul 1931- 1934
Falden Scheske 1934-1943
Henry Moroz 1944
John Henry Sawadsky 1944-1945
Mr. Henry Moroz 1945-1946
Dorothy Emma Recksiedler 1947
Nathaniel George Maclntosh 1947-1948
Mary Neufield 1948-1949
Henry Moroz 1949-1952
Steve Zastawny 1952-1954
Isabella Natalie Sosnowski 1954-1955
Joan Cecilia Sigurdson 1955-1956
Alyina Krocker 1957
Mrs. Marjorie E. Smith 195?-1958
D.A. Hodgkinson 1958-1959
Eugene Michalow 1959-1960
Mary Moroz 1960-1961
Peter J. Williams 196l-1962

Submitted by slh.

Posted in Schools.