In 1882, with a federal land grant and hope of an early railway connection, the Shell River Colonization Company founded the village of Asessippi (Cree for “shell river”). A dam, roller process grist mill, saw mill, shingle factory, brick works, cheese factory, and general store were built at the site, and eventually an iron bridge crossed the Shell River. Some 50 Ontario settlers homesteaded here by 1883 but the expected railway did not arrive. Lacking access to a larger market, the local industries failed and, in 1888, the Canadian government revoked the company’s charter and settlers gradually moved to Inglis, Roblin, and other nearby centres. A settlement persisted here until the early years of the 20th century. The post office closed in 1917.
At this site in the Rural Municipality of Riding Mountain West, a plaque erected in 1974 by the Manitoba Heritage Council marks the beginning of a trail that meanders through the former village site.
A Few Recollections of the Asessippi Country by James A. Johnston
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 17, Number 3, Winter 1972
Tales of Asessippi: The Robbery at Asessippi by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 18, Number 2, Autumn 1972
Tales of Asessippi: The Tent Store at Asessippi 1919 by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 19, Number 1, Autumn 1973
Tales of Asessippi: Christmas at Asessippi, 1915 by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 19, Number 2, Winter 1974
Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.
We thank Ed Ledohowski for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 7 January 2016
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