Did you or your relatives attend Prairie Rose School?
Kelly Donald of Brandon is following his own roots back in time to the origins of a country school near Reston. Donald explains, “My father, grandfather and great-grandfather all attended this school as it was located 1.5 miles from our farm.
“I’ve always been fascinated by both local and family history. Being raised in a small town and surrounded by family, grandparents especially, allowed that history to be passed down. I appreciate my connection to that past with each passing year.
Prairie Rose School is now commemorated by a new cairn and the site has been cleaned up to honour this 121-yr-old school, all the work of Donald’s family.
“I’ve driven past that cairn for years and witnessed its steady decline. Eventually we decided that we would do something about it. It’s not perfect, but hopefully it will continue to stand for another forty years. I’d like to think that the site will receive a few more visitors now thanks to the facelift.”
On Facebook he shares, “Huge thanks to my parents Larry & Louise Donald and Grandpa Chub Gray who restored the Prairie Rose School #967 cairn at the Linklater curves.” Many FB ‘likes’ and comments such as, “The community pride being carried on for the next generations!” show that others also appreciate the family’s effort.
Located four miles west of Reston, the school district was established in July 1898. A one-room frame building was erected the next year, according to the Manitoba Historical Society.
Donald has school records that start in 1909. Between that year and 1962, there were 417 students on the roll. Names from the foundation of Pipestone municipality.
In 1964 the school closed; students went to Reston Consolidated School No. 141and the building was moved to a farmyard, but a monument was dedicated at the original site in July, 1979. The new Prairie Rose School cairn was installed on Oct. 13.
Teachers’ names and more photos can be found on the Manitoba Historical Society website: www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/prairieroseschool.shtml The school’s story is also documented in the history book Trails Along the Pipestone.