Hillside Beach, Grand Beach

“The establishment of a Soldier-Farmer Settlement” at Hillside Beach near Victoria Beach is the latest development of the new homesteading movement in settlement of the Winnipeg Federal land division. The nucleus of a community has already been made by the opening of a post office and the construction of a railway siding at Hillside Beach. A school house will be erected by the Provincial Government in a short time. Several returned soldiers have already located there and are now starting farming operations. This settlement has been made in great part through the influence of Col. Chambre, Merchants Bank building and through his influence, government has promised to build a school house and do some necessary road work this summer, too. This is taken from the Selkirk Weekly Record, May 14, 1920.

The Hillside Beach S.D. No. 1980 was formed on May 1, 1919 in the R.M. of St. Clements and consisted of whole or fractional Sec. 13 to 17,20-24, 27-30, and 32-34 in tp. 19-78. The boundary was readjusted on Dec. 23, 1921, by an award of arbitrators by adding Sec. 25, 26, 35, and fractional 36 in tp. 19-7, and fractional 30 and 3l in tp. l9-8, from Victoria Beach S.D. A further readjustment was made Jan. 27, 1921 by Mr. J.E. Dunlop, to transferring S1/2 of Sec. 13-17, in tp. 19-7E, to the Belair S.D. This school district was dissolved April 1, 1967 and included in the Lord Selkirk School Division No. 11.

The first school was a one class room log building serving as many as 52 children at a time, from Grades 1 to 8, taught by one teacher. Of all the teachers, one stands out above the rest, Jessie Webb Smeltzer, who taught continually from 1932-1948. Many the time during the winter, she would have a big pot of soup or cocoa on the stove for those children who may have walked up to 3 miles and arrived at school with frost bitten fingers and toes. After lunch there was always the tablespoon of cod liver oil with a jelly bean, to make it go down easier. At 3:30pm the children were asked to put their books away and go to the cloakroom for their things. Before they left for home all the children were checked by Mrs. Smeltzer to make sure they were all bundled up well. If some children didn’t have mitts or scarfs, the child was given a ball of yarn to take home for mother to knit a pair.

In 1942, the old log school burnt down. The children were then taught in a local home until a new school was built. The building is now the home of Desond Trainor on the former Hillside Beach School site.

We have a list of the teachers who taught at Hillside Beach, and we hope we did not make any spelling mistakes:

Olive Crealock 1922
Pearl Adolfson 1922-1923
Flora S. Armstrong 1923
Pearl Adolfson 1924
Maude McKenzie 1924-1925
Pearl Adolfson 1924-1927
Nellie C. Robertson 192?-1928
Helen Isbister 1928-1930
Nessie Shankman 1930-1931
Jessie Webb Smeltzer 1932-1948
Daniel Demerer Lysack 1949
Henry Albert Craig 1949-1950
Roy Gilbert Mattews 1950-1953
Anne Lester 1953-1954
Dorothy Louise Jones 1954-1955
Elizabeth Ann Toews 1955,1956
Eleanor Kathleen Helwer 1956-1957
Elizabeth Jean Bowler 1957-1958
Jane E. McFadzen 1958-1959
Anna Lester 1959-1960
Judith E. Morton 1960
Edna Lindh 1960-1961
Winnifred G. Thomas 1960-1963
Vernon Lee 1961-1964
Bert Offord 1964-1965
David Penner 1966
Baldwin P. Berry 1966-1967

Submitted by Pat. Goodman.

Posted in Schools.