This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire

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Evangelical Mennonite Church 502 - 5th Ave. W.

Gospel Hall

102 - 1st St. N.W.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses 1116 Crescent Rd. W.

Northside Church of Christ

600 - 3rd St. N.E.

There were days when walking wasn't easy, and when there wasn't much to eat in the lunch pail, and when they shivered during class hours, and when they trudged through snow banks on the path

to the outhouse Regardless of the hardships, ask any

old-timer about his most cherished memories and you will find that many of them centre around -


The Little Red School House, once a familiar and necessary structure, is reluctantly becoming as legendary as the roaming buffalo. Only the occasional glimpse of a forlorn and deserted rural school re­ mains to evoke memories of the past.

Education in the days of our pioneer forefathers was as important to their children as it now is to their descendants. Therefore, as new farming areas were opened up, the necessity for schools arose.

Basically, they were built to serve a number of families living in an area some three miles wide by four miles long. These distances seem trivial by present standards, but in those early days they were significant, for transportation was more difficult.

The more fortunate travelled by horse; others, by foot. At times the older boys rode two-year-old steers, these animals later being used to till the fields. One farmer plowed a furrow from home to school, through the long Prairie grain, so that his children would not lose their way.

Classes were held in homes until rude log structures were erected.

Desks and seats were long rough wooden trestle tables and benches. Gradually the Little Red School House evolved and structurally and architecturally they were the same throughout the district.

The site, covering one or two acres, contained the school; a tall flag pole with the Union Jack flying from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a barn,