The “Disorganized” Municipalities of Manitoba

by C. E. Parker

Manitoba Pageant, Autumn 1965, Volume 11, Number 1

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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When the Depression came to Canada, the farmers of Manitoba suffered along with the city dwellers. All Rural Municipalities were faced with a sudden drop in tax receipts and many were forced to accept administration from the Provincial Government. Most of these worked their way back and now handle their own affairs but there were nine Municipalities that allowed their government to lapse completely and have never reappeared in their old form. They are the "disorganized" municipalities of Manitoba and were located in the south-east corner of the Province and in the "Interlake" district.

To give you some idea of the area involved, the following is a list showing the extent of each municipality:


Twps 17-20

R 1 W

Part 17-18

R 2 W

All 19-20

Birch River

Twps 7-9

R 11-13 E


Twps 21-23

R 1-3 W

Twps 22-23

R 1 E

Fisher Branch

Twps 24-25

R 1-4 W


Twps 18-21

R 1-3 E


Twps 1-3

R 10-12 E


Twps 1-3

R 13-17 E


Twps 1-3

R 6-9 E


Twps 23-24

R 4-6 W

All of these municipalities are now parts of various Local Government Districts as follows:

LGD Armstrong


Armstrong, Kreuzberg and part of Chatfield

LGD Fisher


Fisher Branch and part of Chatfield

LGD Grahamdale



LGD Piney


Piney and Sprague

LGD Reynolds


Birch River

LGD Stuartburn



Even rarer than "ghost towns", these former municipalities are, in effect, "ghost" municipalities. Their histories would be an integral part of any local history series, and any person now living in these areas, or familiar with them, would be performing a great service if they would write a history of these "disorganized" municipalities along the same lines as suggested in the last issue of Manitoba Pageant for the organized areas of the Province.

Page revised: 18 July 2009