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MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Glacial Lake Agassiz Plaque (Birch River Wayside Park, RM of Mountain)

A plaque in the Birch River Wayside Park, in the Rural Municipality of Mountain, was erected by the Manitoba Heritage Council. It commemorates glacial Lake Agassiz.

Glacial Lake Agassiz was formed 11,500 years ago from the meltwaters of a massive ice sheet that had previously covered all of Manitoba. At its maximum, the lake was larger than any other on the continent, covering in total more than 500,000 square kilometres of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, North Dakota, and Minnesota. During its 4,500-year history, Lake Agassiz rose and fell several times with advances and retreats of the glacial and the opening and closing of various drainage channels. Whenever the lake stabilized for a time, waves created low cliffs and beach ridges which are still visible.

The beaches figured prominently in the lives of Manitoba’s Aboriginal peoples. Elevated and well-drained, these landforms served as campsites, lookouts for sighting game, burial grounds, travel routes between seasonal camps, and sources of stone to fashion tools. Glacial Lake Agassiz played a central role in the shaping of Manitoba’s topography and human history.

Glacial Lake Agassiz Plaque

Glacial Lake Agassiz Plaque (July 2014)
Source: Alan Mason

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N52.39822, W101.12175
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Glacial Lake Agassiz Plaque (Arden, Municipality of Glenella-Lansdowne)

Sources:

This page was prepared by Alan Mason and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 April 2021

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