Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Marymound School Complex at 442 Scotia Street - New to Doors Open This Year!

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other article on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

A view of the complex looking northwest from the riverbank. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

Character Defining Elements:

Exterior:
1) large rectangular west-facing Italianate style building with buff brick superstructure;
2) west façade with a projecting central tower featuring a recessed-arch entrance;

South facade of the St. Agnes (Priory) School ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
3) south façade with raised, projecting brick entrance flanked by stairs to the east and west, and accented with smooth-cut stone columns, brick drip mould, stone coping on the gable roof, with a stone cross at the peak; other façade detailing including a stone statue set within a niche;
4) window openings throughout including square-headed main floor windows, paired and arched second floor windows under a decorative brick arch, flanking an engaged stone column with stone sills, simple arched windows on the third floor; and
5) details throughout including patterned brickwork at the cornice, brick buttresses with stone heads and bases, stone belt courses, etc. 

Photo of the detailed mosaic on the chimney of Leacock House, ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
Interior:
1) entire front stairwell and wood finishes; and
2) ornamental finishes and stained glass of the second storey chapel area


History:

1878 or 1882 - Leacock House, a 2 1/2 storey brick building, is constructed along the bank of the Red River for politician and con artist E.P. Leacock, uncle of famous Canadian writer, Stephen Leacock. It is now one of the oldest Queen Anne Revival homes in the city - another example, and the oldest designated Queen Anne Revival dwelling, is Kelly House at 88 Adelaide Street. 


Caricature of E.P. Leacock, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
January 22, 1909 - The province of Manitoba passes legislation to create Winnipeg's first juvenile court. The Attorney General appoints Winnipeg police magistrate Thomas Mayne Daly, who had been championing the court's creation since the early 1900s, as the first judge.

The court was first held in a home on 226 Simcoe Street that was owned by the Salvation Army but moved within a year to a new site in Wolseley at 189 Evanson Street. The new building contained a court room, schoolroom, and living accommodations for 22 children and staff.

Photo of Thomas Mayne Daly ca. 1902, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
April 1911 - At the request of Daly, five Sisters of Our Lady Charity of the Good Shepherd (Soeurs du Bon Pasteur), a Montreal-based religious order come to Winnipeg to care for young girls who had gone through the City's new juvenile court system. They move into a house at 373 William Avenue but rapidly outgrow the space.

Leacock House - south and east facade ca. 2011, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
September 29, 1911 The new home for the Sisters and their charges at the old Leacock estate (442 Scotia Street) is blessed by Father Cherrier. The Leacock mansion is a prominent feature of the grounds, now known as Leacock House and pictured above. The new grounds are deliberately distant and isolated from the rest of the city, which is seen as the source of the misdemeanour of the girls under the Sisters' care. 

Sisters farming the school grounds, ca. 1920s. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
Donations of food and livestock allowed the Good Shepherd Home to continue in the early years, when money was frequently in short supply. Among their early benefactors are the Parish of St. Boniface, St. Mary's Cathedral, the Knights of Columbus, and hundreds of individuals across Canada. The Fort Garry Hotel was among them, donating bread every day.

1912 photo of some of the first girls sent to the Sisters. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1912 - The Province of Manitoba donates $10 000 to the institution, with the City of Winnipeg adding $1000 to the contribution. Detailed records are kept by the Sisters, and their wards came from all over the province for a variety of crimes, with sentences anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some of the crimes listed include vagrancy, theft, fraud, prostitution, and even for being 'incorrigible'.

1916 - A temporary frame building is constructed at the north end of the building to allow for more space.

Undated photo of a sewing class. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1920s - An increasing number of girls, especially younger children (referred to as the "Priory Lambs"), are sent to the Sisters as Winnipeg orphanages close and try to alleviate overcrowding.

Some of the aforementioned "Priory Lambs". Undated photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1924-5 - Designed by local architect George W. Northwood, St. Agnes Priory is built to accommodate the influx of residents, along with a separate powerhouse and industrial laundry. The new building is three storeys tall and features elements of the Italianate Style popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

1924 photo of the construction of St. Agnes Priory, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1940s - With the rise in the use of foster homes, the Priory is converted into a treatment centre for emotionally disturbed girls and renamed St. Agnes School.

1948 -  447 Scotia Street is purchased as a halfway house for girls from St. Agnes.

Marymound School, east facade ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1956-8 - The Marymound school is added to the complex, a one-storey example of the International style of architecture, and is a sign of the separation of the educational and social elements of the institution.  The Leacock House became the residence of the Sisters, and was still such when the City's report was completed in 2011.

The "White House" ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

1960s - Originally a private residence built in 1907, the White House is purchased and added to the Marymound complex by the Sisters to be used as a group home for older girls.

The "White House" ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1972 - The "temporary" building from 1916 is demolished.

1974-5 - The ground floor - which originally contained a one-bedroom suite, four classrooms, and a parlour - is renovated into meeting rooms and offices to meet the changing needs of the institution.

St. Agnes (Priory) School ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1975 - The institution is incorporated as Marymound, Inc.

1981 - The first boys arrive at the group home and three support families open their doors in The Pas.

Labeled photo of the complex - courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.


2008 - The Sisters hand over sponsorship of the institution to the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba.

July 9, 2012 - The City of Winnipeg gives municipal heritage designation to the buildings at 442 Scotia Street.

Screenshot of the current Marymound website.

For more detailed information on the recent happenings at Marymound, they have their own timeline here.

Sources/Links:

City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Long
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Short
Marymound on Facebook
Marymound Website
Marymound Historical Timeline 
MHS - E.P. Leacock
Manitoba Historical Society - Leacock House
Manitoba Historical Society - St. Agnes Priory
Quebec Chapter of the Sisters of the Our Lady Charity of the Good Shepherd

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