As I was planning a trip to photograph Saskatchewan places in July, 2016, I didn’t have plans to stop here until I found out about the former Aneroid Consolidated School. Like so many rural communities on the Great Plains of North America, Aneroid is shrinking. Young people are now going to school in nearby Ponteix, and the former consolidated school is abandoned.
Aneroid is a perfectly normal hamlet in southern Saskatchewan, about 150 kilometers southwest of Moose Jaw, or 70 kilometers southeast of Swift Current. The population was estimated at 45 in 2006. It was an incorporated village until 2008, when the village reorganized as a hamlet and came under the governance of the rural municipality–effectively, Aneroid decided not to be a town anymore.
Aneroid’s former consolidated school was my primary reason to visit, and it is impressive.
Settlers were arriving in this area by the early 1900s, many of them arriving in Swift Current by rail, then some continuing to the sparsely populated area around Aneroid by horse. The post office opened in 1911.
In 1913, a two-room wood school–the first consolidated school in Saskatchewan–was built to educate the settlers’ children, but two years later it was replaced by this brick school. Children from a fairly wide area came here to attend class every day.
The school is largely hidden these days behind a row of trees that line the perimeter of the property. Just outside that natural boundary lies the rest of Aneroid, including the Aneroid United Church.
The church was built in 1915, the same year as the brick school building across the street. Today, there is a sign hanging on the door that lists the church as for sale via Ed Wagner Ventures. I was unable to find a listing online anywhere.
What do you know about Aneroid, Saskatchewan? Please leave a comment below.
Photos by Troy Larson, content copyright © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media