Brant School No. 1201/Brant School No. 1283

Brant School - 1927. Top Row: Bernice Heckle, Gladys Braunworth, Nellie Braunworth, Vera Bertrand, Mildred Heckle, Margaret Bateman, Lois Holden, Edna Parker, Bertha Holden, Ruth Heckle, Annie McNeil, Isabel Law, lola Bahrki, Betty Beckett, Teacher, Miss O'Donnell, Clare Thomas, Bobby Law, Dorothy Johns, Ruth Holden, Bernice Prater. Bottom Row; Hop Ki, Gau Jim, Bonnar law, Munroe McKay, Jack Parker, Vic Braunworth, David McColeman, Dave Beckett, Lawrence St. Clair, Herb McKay, Leslie Lake, Earl Bateman, Bill Law, Charles Prater.

Brant School was established on February 6, 1905. It was named after the Brant geese, of which there were many. It was located on the NE quarter of 27-18-26-W4, in the town of Old Brant. Directions today are: From Vulcan – West 10 miles on Highway 534, turn North on Highway 804 for 10 miles, turn East on Township Rd 184 for 1 mile, turn North on Range Road 262 for 1/2 mile. Latitude 50.55019, Longitude -113.48399. Second site, NE 9-18-26-W4. Directions from Vulcan – West 10 miles on Highway 534, turn North on Highway 804 for 8 miles, turn West on Township Road 182 into Brant for 1/2 mile (in front of Brant Christian School) Latitude 50.51369, Longitude -113.51372

About 1905, Ben Stewart got a contract to build a school. With H. K. Bateman and H. S. Parker as helpers, the Brant School No. 1201 came into being, in the northeast corner of section 27.

With the coming of the railroad and the consequent relocation of the town of Brant to be on the railroad line, a rearrangement of school districts followed. The Emerson School building was moved to Brant in 1912 by Warren Shultz with his horses. An exchange of names took place. The Emerson School District No. 1283 became Brant No. 1283 with the school building located on NE 9-18-26-W4. and Emerson No. 1201 was located on NE 27-18-26-W4. In 1916, a larger school was built. As told by Louise St. Clair in a student essay written in 1921: “The large room ran for about a year before the smaller one started. During that time they had the library somewhat fixed up, their new desks and accessories made ready. Since then, both rooms have been going steadily, save for the Senior room first part of the term, which was rather unsatisfactory.” The old “Emerson” School building was bought by the Ladies Aid to be used as a Methodist church. Sharon School No. 1065, which was built in l904, was moved and added to the church in the early 1950’s. This later became the United Church.

In 1928, there was a big blizzard. As the day wore on, the children began to need to visit the outdoor “facilities.” In order to make it safe for everyone, two older children took one small one to the building. When it came time for Mildred Heckle and Vera Bertrand to take someone, there were two little ones. They lost their way back and circled the basketball poles many times before they got straightened, but Orval Doney, the teacher at the time was on his way to fetch them.

Lola Knapp was both a student and a teacher in Brant School. “We had desks with lift up tops. I remember one noon when Eva and I raised all the tops, then ran down the aisles with our arms out, knocking all the tops down and creating a real commotion. We escaped out the window and were never caught, but they probably knew who had done it. Despite the pranks we learned a lot because we had some excellent teachers – I especially remember Beth Williams (nee Holden), Rita Lytle, Evelyn Larson and Reg Burnard.” Brant was then a thriving metropolis, so about 100 students were enrolled – over thirty per classroom.

Throughout the years the school building changed by successive additions from a one-room school to two, three and four rooms with a basement and inside bathrooms. Additional space was added by moving in rural schools for classrooms and for an industrial arts building. In 1958 a gymnasium, kitchen, office and new bathrooms were added. Four years later the old building was taken down and a modern five-room school was annexed to the gymnasium.

During the consolidation of schools into “Big Units”, many of the rural schools were closed and the pupils were vanned into Brant. Among these rural schools were Emerson, Sharon, Peace, Wilderman, Richmond Hill and Derry. Early in the 1950’s the Ensign school was closed and those pupils were also vanned to Brant.

Brant, 1954

Arrangements were made with adjoining school districts for accommodation of students on the fringe areas, if vanning distances proved too great. The grade twelve students from Brant were vanned to the County Central High School in Vulcan in the fall of 1954. The grade ten and eleven students followed a few years after and by September 1967, the grade nines were also gone, leaving a diminished school population of slightly over seventy by 1972. In 1974, the school was closed.

The building was purchased in 1990 by Heritage Christian Ministries to become the Heritage Christian School, Brant Campus. Although the building had been unoccupied for 14 years, Hunsperger said the school just needed a good cleaning to prepare it for student occupation. Students from High River, Nanton, Vulcan, Champion, Milo and Brant registered. In 2002, Brant Christian School had eight teachers for 87 pupils, plus two teacher’s aides and six support staff.

More information about Brant 1201/1283 School may be found in “Wheat Country I – A history of Vulcan and District,” at the Vulcan and District Archives and from the Vulcan school directory (maps and driving directions) which is available in the Vulcan and District Museum or at the Vulcan and District Archives.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.