Prospect Slope School No. 2649

Prospect Slope School

Prospect Slope school was built in 1912 on N.W. 29-16-21 and opened in 1913. The early pioneers were very aware of the need of education and were most concerned by the lack of school facilities as their young families approached school age. Bert McFall, a homesteader from west of Lomond, helped build the school. The name was suggested by trustee, David McIntyre, after a school in Mr. McIntyre’s old home in Ramsey County, North Dakota.

Directions from Lomond – West 11 miles on Highway 531, follow curve north onto Highway 842 for 1½ miles; Vulcan – East 16 miles on Highway 534, follow curve south onto Highway 842 for 1½ miles. Latitude 50.37567, Longitude -112.89142

From the board minutes: Newton Bros. accepted Board proposal to build the School, requiring a bond of $650.00 but failed to sign the contract. On August 13, 1913 L. W. Boden was engaged to build the school. He must hire any necessary help for which he must pay a salary 40¢ per hour. (Clarence Greenlee helped build the school.) Oct. 24, 1912-$1200.00 was borrowed for building the School with foundation, barn, outhouses and fence. Interest was not to be more than 8% yearly. December 17, 1913-Board decided to begin school March 1, 1914. Calgary Normal School was requested to secure a teacher. Salary not to exceed $75.00 monthly. The school key was held by a Board member, E.C. McFall. $5.00 charge would be made for anyone using the key for party or social event. The $5.00 was returned only if the school was left in satisfactory condition. February, 11, 1916-A decision was made for an estimate on a barn 14 x 24 x7 ft. with gable roof. March 1, 1914-School opened with the first teacher, Mary Scanlon. May 15, 1919-Ministerial Approval granted to move the school to SE corner of NE 25-16-22 W4. January 20, 1927-School burned down. (as a result of a banked fire in heater). January 21, 1927-School was to be held at NW 31-16-21 W4 , in Dave McIntyre’s original homestead shack. Claim made by the Board to Fire Adjuster was $900.00 for school and contents. February 26,1927-The Secretary was to offer $500.00 for Brunswick School #3574, located at 16-15-16 W4, near Vauxhall/Enchant. The Board requested Mr. Colton to move the school for $500.00 but he refused the contract. Tom Emelsen contracted to move the Brunswick School #3574, using 12 head of horses. At the East end of entrance to the bridge across Lake McGregor, they paused. The bridge railings had to be removed. After crossing, the railing was replaced. Darkness came on. Rain fell for 2 or more days, thus moving was held up.  (Another source states that a blizzard developed during the move, delaying its progress. The building sat on the road until freeze up the following winter, when it could be brought through the coulee at the Lake McGregor crossing, west of Lomond.) The approximate distance of the move was 40 miles. Tom Emelsen was given a $100.00 bonus for transporting Brunswick School #3574, in good shape to NE 25-16-22 W4, where it became Prospect Slope School #2649. June 30,1944-School closed. Miss Ruth Hanna (now Mrs. Ruth Fath) was the last teacher. Nov. 9, 1948-Approval was given to dispose of the school building, barn, coal shed, woodshed and toilets, together with the school site.

Among the teachers who brought their knowledge to the young minds within four walls of the old Prospect Slope school were: Mary Scanlon, A. Hoydge, Mary Simons, Mrs. Cox, Miss Duncan, Miss Brimms, Anna Copp, Miss Hughes, Archie Ewers – 1919/20, 1920/21, Mrs. Gertrude Mannen – 1921/22, 1922/23, 1923/24, 1924/25, Mrs. Mae or Mary Todd – 1925/26, Vera Halroyd – 1926/27, Alice English – 1926/27, Hazel MacDonald – 1927/28, Annie Ward – 1928/29, Frieda Sautter – 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33, Frances Warden – 1933/134,, 1934/35, 1935/36, Mildred Mallinger – 1936/37, Harry Wismer – 1937/38, Alice Watson – 1938/39, May Henderson – 1939/40, Frydon Yoemans-1940-41, Sept.-Nov. 1941, Rodena Beaton-Dec. 1-Dec. 23 1941, Mary A. Todd-Jan. 5-Feb. 13, 1942, Mrs. Florence Ridley-Feb. 16-June 30, 1942, Jean Minue-1942-43, and Ruth Hanna-1943-44 – last teacher.

Ed and Rose Larkins raised eight children. The children had three miles to go to school. They either rode horseback, drove a horse and buggy or walked. They became initiated into farm life by learning to milk cows, feed hogs and chickens and harness horses. They had to get up shortly after 5 a.m. every morning in order to get the chores done before they left for school. The same chores had to be done again, as soon as they returned home from school.

Joan (Thomas) Reynolds notes that all the students participated in the recess and noon hour activities, the older students had the patience to teach the younger ones the games.

In June 1944, the doors were closed for the last time and several of the surrounding districts were consolidated into Reid Hill school, a three classroom structure on SE 4-17-22.

On May 4, 2000 (Thursday)-Prospect Slope School #2649 was donated to the Vulcan and District Historical Society by Doug and Brenda McIntyre and moved by Ken Volk the 30 km. from their farmyard (NE 25-16-22 W4) to become part of the Vulcan Museum Complex located at 232 Center Street, Vulcan, Alberta. Here it will be joined by a foyer with double doors for wheelchair entrance, to the former Alberta Government Telephone Office.

On July 19, 2002-Prospect Slope School completely restored and Official Opening was held.

More information about Prospect Slope School may be found in “Wheat Country – a history of Vulcan and District,” at the Vulcan and District Archives and from school directories (maps and driving directions) which are available at the Vulcan & District Museum.

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