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As settlers took up land across the district, one of their first requirements was for schools to teach their children. The ideal was that no child should have to travel more than four miles to school.

The one-room school became the backbone of early rural education in Manitoba. Where there were once more than 1,000 of these buildings, it is estimated by provincial heritage authorities that there are likely no more than 100 left, and many of those have been re-used for purposes that have destroyed their original character. In the Carman/Dufferin area we have a prime example of this heritage in Boyne School, which has been formally protected as a Municipal Heritage Site and is now located at the Dufferin Historical Museum.

The Dufferin area can also lay claim to a unique school design through an attempt in the early 1890s to develop a standardized design for schools. When other school districts from this period were putting up basic gable-roofed boxes, someone in this area was developing unusual designs featuring a shallow-roofed main building fronted with a shed-roofed entrance, capped with a large bell tower. While they are slightly odd-looking buildings, they may be the first attempt by a school board to have a standardized (and distinct) design available for school builders. The schools built to this design were Garnett, the second Boyne and the first Ostrander schools. William Webster of Roland may have been involved with the construction of these buildings. We would welcome any additional information on this unusual aspect of our architectural history.

The local school became the focal point of most early communities. It was where meetings, picnics, dances and other social activities took place. In some communities, church services also were held in the school. As transportation improved and school districts consolidated, small one-room country schools disappeared from the local landscape. Most are now commemorated by cairns or other markers.

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Schools marked with an "M" below are commemorated with a cairn or other marker.

Albert School (1884–1968) M Hyde Park School (1895–1911)
Boyne School (1878–1966) Kenneth School (1920–1964) M
Brigdenley School (1909–1969) M Kilmory School (1875–1967) M
Broad Valley (1916–1968) Lintrathen School (1902–1919)
Carman Boys' Reform School (1940s) McDermott School (1894–1968) M
Carman (1884–) Orr School (1880s–1919)
Central (1898–1954) M Ostrander School (1880s–1968) M
Columbine School (1928–1968) M Pomeroy (Newton) School (1878–1953) M
Dufferin Christian School (1970–) Ravenswood School (1886–1919)
Emberley School (1919–1939) M Roseisle School (1894–1992) M
Forest School (1884–1968) M St. Daniel School (1894–1966) M
Garnett School (1884–1965) M Stephenfield School (1890s–1966) M
Graysville School (1909–2010) Stirling School (1916–1966)
Homewood School (1908–1961) Tracy School (1900–1964) M
Hopeland School (1937–1966) M