Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: York Lodge / Kirchhoffer Lodge / The Chimney (Delta Marsh, RM of Portage la Prairie)

In 1901, Brandon senator John N. Kirchhoffer constructed a hunting lodge in Delta Marsh, on the south shore of Lake Manitoba in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. He named it York Lodge in anticipation of a visit later that year by the Duke of Cornwall and York (the son of King Edward VII who later became King George V) during His Royal Highness’ cross-country tour of Canada. On 6 October 1901, the Royal party detrained at Poplar Point and were transported by wagon to the south side of the marsh, where they transferred into canoes for a paddle to the north side along the lakeshore. There, the Duke took up residence in York Lodge while other members of his party were accommodated in nearby tents. Over the course of the next three days, several hundred ducks were shot and killed.

The Duke is reported to have enjoyed duck-hunting in Manitoba so much that he pledged to return for another visit. In preparation for another Royal visit, Kirchhoffer constructed a larger, grander building at the site that became known as Kirchhoffer Lodge. After Kirchhoffer died in 1914, his lodge and the surrounding land was owned by a consortium of hunters before being purchased by American businessman James Ford Bell (1879-1961), who constructed a second York Lodge east of the Delta Waterfowl Station. (It is believed that Bell ordered the demolition of the original York Lodge.) The Kirchhoffer Lodge stood vacant until February 1950 when it was moved to the Delta Waterfowl Station. The lodge’s stone chimney could not be moved so it was abandoned and still stands at the original site, far from public access. The door from the first York Lodge, signed by His Royal Highness and other members of the 1901 shooting party, is displayed inside Bell’s second York Lodge.

The Royal shooting party at the first York Lodge, with His Royal Highness standing in the doorway

The Royal shooting party at the first York Lodge, with His Royal Highness standing in the doorway (8 October 1901)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, E. L. Drewry Fonds.

Abandoned chimney from the Kirchhoffer Lodge

Abandoned chimney from the Kirchhoffer Lodge (May 2005)
Source: Dale Wrubleski

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.22476, W98.16855
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Nesbitt Kirchhoffer (1848-1914)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba


H. Albert Hochbaum Fonds, Archives of Manitoba.

We thank Peter Ward and Dale Wrubleski for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Glen Suggett.

Page revised: 1 May 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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