Tag Archives: concrete blocks

Manitoba Heritage – Tenby School, Tenby, MB

Reid Dickie

Most one-room schoolhouses built in rural Manitoba were small, modest and unassuming affairs, usually of wood construction, occasionally made of brick. Tenby School, located in the R.M. of Lansdowne, is the exception, in fact, a unique exception. Two factors contribute to the school’s uniqueness: its design and its building materials.

Rather than a small rectangular box, the usual design for country schools, Tenby School is larger, almost square and features a pyramidal roof. Windows along the south side brought light into the classroom as did the two gabled dormers which open into the room. The north and west walls are without openings to protect the room against our prevailing northwesterly winds.

The school’s facade, with the peaked dormers and extended vestibule, is dramatic despite the small size of the building. The gabled entrance and dormers suggest the unbuilt portion of the pyramid roof.

In 1904, the year the school was built, a popular construction material was employed: concrete blocks. Before you could buy blocks ready-made, itinerant crews traveled the province with portable block-making moulds that created the materials onsite and in the exact quantity, quality and with the features required. In the case of Tenby School, the blocks are long and rectangular and sport several finishes.

Many different finishes were available to the block makers and Tenby School is an excellent example of the building method, featuring four types of block detailing. Smooth blocks, rough blocks, striated blocks and floral blocks combine to create a delightful exterior. The elegant floral design is used on the corner quoins to fine effect.

Around the time this school was built, Tenby was a going concern. Named after a town in Wales by the community’s founder James Griffiths, Tenby had many businesses, a water tower that serviced steam locomotives as well as a grain elevator. Today little remains of the town but for a house or two and this remarkable little schoolhouse. The local residents have done an excellent job preserving this unique Manitoba relic. I would suggest they get a new Canadian flag to fly, replacing the rag that flapped in the breeze during my visit. Tenby is located NNE of Neepawa with access off Provincial Roads 260 and 575.

Find many more stories about Manitoba schools on my Schools page.

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Filed under Day Tripping, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers, Schools

12 Manitoba Heritage Houses

           These are the same 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses on the 12 Houses page at the top. I’m making them into a post with a link to their page so as I can allow their many tags to be available online and make them easier to find. Right now WordPress doesn’t provide tags for pages, just posts. This will get around that.

           If you haven’t checked out 12 Manitoba Heritage Houses or even if you have, now is a good time. I’ve added some interesting links that weren’t there previously. This series originally appeared as a 12 Days of Christmas project Linda and I sent out in 2007 which accounts for the format. Each house merits a grand picture and short description.

           Take a drive with me around Manitoba, stopping in some delightful places and catching glimpses of twelve precious and well-maintained houses that passionately preserve our heritage.

12 MANITOBA HERITAGE HOUSES

DAY ONE

Janz House, Third St. & Fifth Ave. W, Souris, MB

              To accommodate the superintendent and his family, the Canadian Pacific Railway built this elegant wood frame more…

DAY TWO

Beechmount, 134 West Gate, Winnipeg, MB

            Built by barrister Lendrum McMeans in 1895, it was bank manager John Benning Monk who named it more…

DAY THREE

Brick Bungalow, 1604 College Ave, Brandon, MB

              This brick bungalow’s distinctive low-slung porch roof offers a deep sheltering space to enter the home. The more…

DAY FOUR

J. D. McLean House, South Chestnut  Street, Shoal Lake, MB

            J.D. McLean, a tinsmith and hardware merchant, built this delightful two-storey Queen Anne style house more…

DAY FIVE

Brick two-storey house, Third & Cliff, Wawanesa, MB

           This eloquent two-storey Queen Anne style house demonstrates the early prosperity of Wawanesa. Executed more…

DAY SIX

Mansard roof house, 415 Kerby St., Miami, MB.

           Well-kept and charming, this fine example of a mansard-roofed house was built around 1900. The house more…

DAY SEVEN

Classic Two-Storey, Garwood Ave, Winnipeg, MB

         Built in 1914 when its west Fort Rouge neighbourhood was being developed, this standard off-centre more…

DAY EIGHT

McBurney House, Third St & Fifth Ave W, Souris, MB.

        This house is a beauty! Built in 1909, architect Charles Hawkins Brindle loaded the house with Classical more…

DAY NINE

One & a Half Storey, Blight St, Miami, MB.

         Another lovely pridefully maintained home in little Miami. This classic example of a one and half storey more…

DAY TEN

Former Paterson/Matheson House, 1039 Louise Ave. Brandon, MB

           This splendid 1895 house exudes extreme Queen Anne style dripping with Eastlake decoration. The great more…

DAY ELEVEN

Brick Gingerbread House, 510 Fourth at Simcoe, Carberry, MB

              Take a moment to drink in the detail and the overall Seussian effect. The picturesque roofline features more…

DAY TWELVE

Brick Gingerbread House, 228 Fifteenth St, Brandon, MB

           A coin toss decided which gingerbread became Christmas Day house. Appropriately, this unusual place more… 

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Filed under Heritage Buildings