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Mulvey School History

June 26, 2023

Mulvey School was first opened in October of 1884. The original school was built on the northeast corner of the lot purchased from Mr. R. Patterson at the corner of Maryland and Broadway. It was a 2-room, 2-storey, brick veneer building, built at an approximate cost of $7 400. The first Mulvey School was home for 47 pupils and its principal was Samuel E. Erkshine. It was heated by two large box stoves, one in each room.

There was a large Icelandic settlement in the area. Children attended Mulvey from Grades 1 to 6 and then transferred to Carlton School for Grades 7 and 8.

The little 2-room school wasn't large enough to accommodate the growing population. In 1893 a 10-room, 3-storey, brick building was built on the same lot at the cost of $27 000. The top floor was used for the Provincial Government Museum and housed a valuable exhibit that had been prepared for the Chicago World's Fair. 

On April 9, 1895, only two years later, the second Mulvey School was completely destroyed by a fire. It was believed the fire was deliberately started on the top floor of the school.

Following the fire, a place had to be found for the children. The two rooms in the old Mulvey School were put to use and four other rooms were secured in a house on Young Street. There were only a few school days lost.


The third school was built in 1895 with twelve rooms and an Assembly Hall. It was built at a cost of $25 000 as the foundations of the burnt school were still good. This school housed Grades 1 to 7 and in 1897 Grade 8 was added.


Overcrowding was so bad in 1908 that a 9-room addition was added. In 1922, again to relieve overcrowding, the Assembly Hall was made into two classrooms. Mulvey School accommodated 900 children and a staff of 21 teachers.


The third Mulvey School stood until 1960 when it was torn down. A new high school was built on the Mulvey site. Mulvey pupils were transferred over to the old Gordon Bell School on the corner of Wolseley and Maryland. There, the old Gordon Bell School, built in 1925, became the fourth and current Mulvey School.


Major Stewart Mulvey (1834-1908)

Mulvey School was named after Major Stewart Mulvey who was born in Ireland in 1834 and moved to Ontario in 1856, where he taught for fourteen years. Major Mulvey came to Manitoba after a time, and was appointed a member of the Provincial Board of Education for several years. He was elected as one of the first School Trustees of the city, as well as the Secretary Treasurer of the School Board. 


Throughout his tenure as a School Trustee, he endeavored to secure an adequate portion of the city’s taxes for the education of the children of Winnipeg. In 1886, Major Mulvey was also elected as a member of the legislature. Not only was he involved in education, but was also instrumental in the forming of the first military corps here and a director of the first organization of the General Hospital. 


Major Stewart Mulvey passed away on May 261908His portrait still hangs in the library of Mulvey School. A school which bears his name to acknowledge his contribution and his legacy.

For more information, follow this link to the Historic Sites of Manitoba:


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