Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba Summer Edition - Melita

Here are five historic sites to see when attending Banana Days at Melita, so named for Sunny the Banana, a 33-foot-tall monument of a banana, erected in 2010, commemorates the fact that, on average, the town is a couple degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. Local media started referring to it as the “Banana Belt” of Manitoba. On his right outstretched arm is Breezy the Blue Jay. Click on the photos for more information about each site.

Search the MHS Historic Sites of Manitoba database for a complete list of historic sites.

Antler River Museum

Antler River Museum

The museum occupies the former building of the Melita Consolidated School No. 440 in Melita. Believed to be the oldest surviving school building in rural Manitoba, it was constructed in 1893, initially a four-room school with four more rooms added in 1905. Among its many fine displays, the museum features an extensive collection of Indigenous artifacts.

The interior of the former Eunola School

Eunola School No. 921

Located 14 miles west of Melita, Eunola School is easily one of the best-preserved one-room schoolhouses in the province. The building was constructed in late 1937 to replace an earlier structure destroyed by fire. Closed in 1962, it became a municipally-designated historic site in 1992. Renovations in 2008 included replacement of its windows. Inside the building, which is still used as a community centre, are school desks, photographs of teachers and other pioneers, and a book listing teachers, reminescences of former students, and other historical information.

Copley Anglican Church

Copley Anglican - The Bootleggers’ Church

Construction of this fieldstone church occurred between autumn of 1890 and spring of 1892. As settlement in the surrounding area waned, church attendance diminished until the building was deconsecrated in June 1913. Church equipment was taken to a new building at Pierson while the organ and pictures were taken to Eunola School. Local lore indicates that, during the years of Prohibition, the isolated location of the building and its close proximity to the American and Saskatchewan borders made it attractive to bootleggers. Efforts were made in 1932 to protect the building from vandalism, by boarding the doors and windows. Still intact in 1967, only remnants of the original walls were present at the time of a 2011 site visit.

Kilkenny General Store

Kilkenny General Store

Located 13 miles northwest of Melita, this abandoned two-storey building in the ghost town of Broomhill was built in 1908 for William Kilkenny and his brother John. In addition to selling groceries and hardware, it hosted the local post office, sold agricultural implements, and had an automotive garage and gas pump. Three suites on the upper floor were rented residential space. It closed in September 1964.

Sourisford Linear Burial Mounds

Sourisford Burial Mounds

Located at several sites south of Melita are remnants of the largest concentration of ancient burial mounds in Canada, a designated national historic site. Our present understanding derives from the archeological work by Dr. Leigh Syms, who speculates that Siouxian people buried their winter casualties here, coinciding with the spring migration route of bison herds. The mounds in the Souris River valley were constructed between 900 and 1400 AD, and vary in size and shape.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 August 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

Browse lists of:
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Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

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