Scotia 2007

(The following information is from page 35 to 37 of Chronicles of Crandall, 1971)

This is a very brief outline of the Scotia community which is at the very southeast corner of the Crandall Consolidated School District that took in the north part of Scotia.
In the spring of 1882, a group of farm families who had been living on rented farms in the vicinity of St. Mary's in Ontario decided to pull up stakes and head for Manitoba where homesteads were still available. So, on March 16, the men left with their cars of settlers' effects. The women and children were to follow in the next train for Brandon, the end of the rail at that time. After a long and tiresome trip, they arrived in Winnipeg, smack into a three-day Manitoba blizzard which held them in the city for almost two weeks. They eventually reached Brandon and were met by friends who had left the same district in Ontario two years earlier, but our pioneers had still fifty miles to go through snow and high water. These men did take up homesteads and were soon busy building shelters for families and livestock.
One of the early needs was for a school which was soon too small for the growing families. Church service was held in private homes and that too was crowded. So, in 1895, there were two schools built - Maple Shade for the north and Scotia for the south. The same year a church was built on a stone foundation which still stands in good shape, a credit to its builders. The church was dedicated by Rev. Robertson on Sunday, November 24, 1895. He was assisted by the Hamiota Choir and used as his text Ephesians 5-25, "Christ also loved his church and gave himself for it."
Until 1889 all grain these folk had for sale had to be hauled to Virden or Shoal Lake, a distance of about thirty miles either north or south and for the most with oxen. That year the C.P.R. was built as far as Hamiota and in 1909 the old Grand Trunk was opened for service and a station and two elevators were built at Pope, also a Post Office was opened the next spring. The station was used extensively for years as it was a direct route to Winnipeg, also the west. About this time prosperity seemed to hit this district, as new and large houses and barns were being built and all on fifty cents a bushel for wheat.
The community had been growing so fast that again the young families were on the move westward, many to Togo, Outlook and Conquest, to pioneer as their parents had done, also to homestead. Three things Scotia was noted for was their summer picnics, their fowl suppers in the fall and their Clydesdale horses.

Scotia Church The church was Presbyterian until union in 1925 and was kept open until 1951 when regular Sunday services were discontinued. In 1942 there was a cairn built just across the road from the church with a plaque which has this inscription: "They builded better than they knew."

Scotia Cairn This cairn was dedicated and unveiled by Rev. William Bill. A cemetery was opened just two miles south of the church on a quiet country road and it too is well cared for. Two more anniversaries of note were held in this church, their sixtieth with Rev. John Dunnitt, a former pastor as guest speaker, and another their seventy-fifth, in 1970, when a large congregation heard Rev. Bowins, assisted by the Hamiota Senior Choir, use the same text as Rev. Robertson used when the church was dedicated, "Christ also loved his church and gave himself for it." Rev. Bowins in his service paid a wonderful tribute to the Scotia pioneers.


Maple Shade School The first school in the district was Scotia, built in 1884 on the S.W.; corner of 22-13-24, directly east of where Scotia Church now stands.
In 1895 the school became too crowded so it was decided to split the district. Two new schools were built, the new Scotia school located about 1 1/4 miles south and Maple Shade the same distance north, on S.E. 1/4 of 28-13-24.
This building continued to serve the primary educational needs of the district, section 19 to 36, until June of 1918, when consolidation took place splitting the district three ways, to Crandall, Hamiota and Oakner.
The building was sold to Mr. A.M. MacKay, a blacksmith at Pope, who moved it there and rented it as a hall for dances, socials and meetings.
When Mr. MacKay retired, he sold his business to Mr. Walter Beasley who remodelled the school house into a home. Mr. Beasley later moved to Oak Lake and sold his house. It was moved to the town of Rivers where it still serves as a home.

Scotia Pupils Some of the teachers giving their time and service at Maple Shade were: Miss Howden, Miss E. Gray, Miss M. Montgomery, Miss E. Mitchel, Miss J. Houck, Miss C.E. Short, Miss M. Ross, Miss M.E. Henderson and Miss A. Craig.
These are a few statistics taken from the yearly record of 1910. Provincial grants of $129.15, municipal grants of $640.00, teacher's salary $500.00 a year. Total expenses $751.50, and the school age was six to 21 years old.
On July 26, 1970 a marker was unveiled at the sight of the old school. Many former pupils attended from far and near, and enjoyed a social afternoon.