Robertson School No. 4350

Robertson School, 1928 to 1940.

On August 4, 1928, a meeting was called to organize a new school district which would accommodate the children of the families in this outlying region. At this meeting were the Ted Roseens, Fred Bertschys, Otto Pearson and Ben Haggs. The name “Robertson” was chosen for the school and originated by using portions of the surnames of the first three families mentioned.

The school district was established on August 16, 1928. The school was located on NE 22-19-19-W4, on the NE corner of the Bertschy land, about seven miles east of the Majorville store. Directions from Milo – East 1 mile on Highway 542, turn north on Highway 842 for 4 miles, turn east on Township Road 194 for 13 miles. Latitude 50.62975, Longitude -112.54412

Robertson School was tiny, unpainted and stood alone in the N.E. corner of the Bertschy field about seven miles east of the Majorville Store. It was a remodeled granary which had large windows set in one side and a chimney installed for the heater.

Miss Pauline Lewis, first teacher at Robertson School.

Pauline (Lewis) Kisch was the first teacher at Robertson School, arriving in late August, 1928. Eric Huskins was the teacher at Liberty School and Freda Sautter was at East Majorville at that time.

Her pupils were Meta, Louise, Violet and Junior Bertschy; Alex, Mildred, Stanley and Larry Hagg; Dora and Merl Pearson; Beatrice and Rupert Roseen, Aileen Hagg and Bernice Bertschy started in September 1929.

Pauline boarded with the Bertschy’s and paid $18 per month. The room given to her was spacious and comfortable; the board was excellent. She enjoyed the warm friendliness of each member of the family and was indeed happy at that home.

She had been raised in Enchant and had no experience with either farming or ranching, but she rode and drove horses, though she never overcame her fear of them. On one occasion, one of the ranch hands brought a reported “killer” horse, by the name of Smasher, for her to ride. However, the horse proved to be quit tame that day. She climbed like a tomboy over the big Rumley during threshing time.

When the big prairie fire came through in 1928, burning much of the ranch land, it seriously threatened the Bertschy home. At one time during the second night of fire, she was placed out in the middle of a ploughed field to keep three or four children in the car and to hold four horses. It was a good thing the children were sleepy and the animals were quiet work horses. Afterwards, she helped to make piles of sandwiches and pots of coffee for the firefighters.

She had many pranks played on her, such as gophers being tied to her chair at school, and nests of mice placed in her desk. One night she came home to find a stuffed badger in her bed, but it was all in fun and she retaliated.

In 1930-31 she taught at Iron Springs, but returned the following year to teach at Liberty School, boarding at the Mills’.

Teachers following her were: the Misses E. Wright, M. Oyen, Proctor, L. Christofferson, J. Ralston, Isabel Drummond, W. Waltemath, E. Chalmers, Mrs. E. Stephens and Mr. C. W. Nelson.

Bob Bertschy took his schooling from grades one to eight at the Robertson School, in the “middle of nowhere”-one mile from his home.

Robertson School pupils, 1932: Alex Hagg, Miss Oyen, Meta Bertschy, Dora Pearson, Mildred Hagg, Violet Bertschy, Stanley Hagg, Larry Hagg, Louise Kirkmas, Junior Bertschy, Aileen and Ben Hagg, Grace House, Bob and Berniece Bertschy.

Robertson School closed in 1940 and in the early ’50’s was purchased by Lee Francis and used as a garage at the old Majorville Store. However, with the widening of the road, it was demolished and burned.

Robertson may not have been so big, but I’m sure the students were quite capable of giving the teachers as much in the way of pranks as any other rural school could provide, and those are the memories that are dearest to students and teachers alike.

More information about Robertson School may be found in “Snake Valley I & II- a history of Lake McGregor and Area,” at the Vulcan and District Archives and from school directories (maps and driving directions) which are available at the Milo Village Office, the Milo Municipal Library and the Vulcan & District Museum.

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