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A HISTORY OF PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE'S SCHOOL SYSTEM
In 1854, the Venera ble Archdeacon William Cochrane of the Anglican Church was responsible for the founding of the first school in what is now the City of Portage la Prairie.
Archdeacon Cochrane's home served as .<'1 temporary location for the school until a log building was erected nearby on the north side of the river road, close by the present St. Mary's Cemetery.
Although the Archdeacon and his good wife actively engaged in the education of the young, the first teacher of this school was Peter Garrioch, who was followed by Henry Laronde, Benjamin McKenzie, and then by the Archdeacon's son, the Rev. Thomas Cochrane, during whose regime (1862-63) the log building became too small, and a new and larger structure was erected, near the centre of the village.
In 1870, with the creation of the Province of Manitoba, the church parish school gave way to the public school system. By 1872, students were attending school in another log building on the Island. In 1883, this old school house became the property of the Agricultural Society and was used as an exhibition hall.
Lansdowne College (shown here) was the first in Manitoba to offer instruction in free drawing. The first art teacher was a Miss Freeman.
In 1883, the Trustees of Portage la Prairie School District No. 10 erected the Central School, one of the finest in the Province, at a cost of $40,000. In this ten-room building, instruction at all levels was provided until the first Collegiate was constructed. The grand