Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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MONTROSE S.D. 242

The first Montrose School number 40 was built in 1880, situated on the S.E. corner of 81215, on land donated by Mr. Frank McBean, a pioneer of the district. Not too much is known about the first school because our pioneers are no longer with us.

The school was named Montrose after the post office which was Montrose at that time. The children of the district enjoyed Sunday School taught by Mrs. Dick Marshall. The last teacher of the first school was Miss Munshaw.

Great plans were made to have a new school with a basement. The hole was dug but by building time, money was scarce so the idea of a basement had to be scrapped and the hole was filled in. In September of 1915, the new Montrose School number 242, situated on the same site on the S.E.

corner of 8-12-15, was opened with a Mr. Elliott as teacher. I think that the Dept. of Education had just one blue print for rural schools for they were all built alike. The little white building with green trim, along with a barn and two outhouses was centrally located to make it accessible to all children of the district. There were no trees but a project enjoyed by the pupils was to plant trees in the spring. The rural school was unique. It was a large family cooperating and working together, helping and learning one from the other. There were chores to be done and each took his or her turn. The older students cleaned the blackboards, swept the floor, carried water and raised the flag; while the younger ones liked to clean the brushes and do the dusting.

One feature of each rural school was the flag pole in front of the school and each school day the Union Jack fluttered in the prairie winds.

One can never forget the outhouses, especially in the winter. We had to slide down a snow bank to get in and then the torture of the snowy icy seat was terrible! Each rural school had a pot -bellied stove in one corner. It gave off great heat, much appreciated in the winter. We heated soup or cocoa on the top to have hot lunches. An older student was the fireman.

He walked a mile or two early in the morning to light the fire, empty the ashes, and carry in coal and hopefully have the room warm enough to start classes. All this work was done for 15 We had six big windows to the east and two small windows to the north to provide the light for the school room. Some cloudy days it was quite dark inside. The blackboards were used extensively, and each month there was a new border design.

Usually, a border suitable for the month was chosen. Above the blackboards hung two colorful maps advertising Neilson''s chocolate bars; one map was of Canada and the other of the world.

These maps were provided free for the asking.

The library was a spot of interest and pupils were allowed to enjoy a book when their work was finished. We looked forward with great anticipation for the box of new books sent each fall by the Dept.

of Education.

Field Day was a big event in the spring.

Everyone took part and we had fun practising marching, racing, jumping and playing ball. This was a time when we visited other rural schools to have a ball game. The whole family was involved because the parents took the children and enjoyed the day, too. We often suffered the next day from the effects of sunburn, but that was part of field day.

Montrose won its share of ribbons and banners.

The Christmas concert had to be the highlight of the year. It was a lot of work but everyone enjoyed it. It was amazing how some shy little person could work up enough courage to sing or recite, just to surprise mom and dad. Some real talent was displayed in the one-act plays put on at Christmas concerts.

In 1943 the rural schools were changed dramatically. Hydro came to the district. Montrose School was modernized with a new basement, tiles on the floor, a new heating system, indoor flush toilets, running water and electric lights. Oh! What a change! Below is a list of the teachers who taught at Montrose. I hope the list is complete, but names may not be in the correct order: Mr. Elliott Miss Little Miss McGregor Miss Byram Miss Cornish Miss Brown Miss Crewsen Miss Bullard Miss Govier Miss Copeland Miss Gillies Mr. Van Horn Miss Rankin Miss Jolliffe Miss Cowell Miss Hawkins Miss Blair Montrose School has served the district well and it was proud of its students. Their education was basic but good, and when the school closed in 1967 for larger schools, the pupils could compete with anyone.

 

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