Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Industrial Farm / Prison Farm (RM of Reynolds)
This site along the Birch River in the Rural Municipality of Reynolds, between the communities of McMunn and East Braintree, was a former prison farm operated by the Manitoba government. Established in 1918 under Superintendent William Murray and Assistant Superintendent August Anderson, between 40 and 55 prisoners brought here on the nearby Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway were put to working cutting cordwood to pay the costs of their incarceration. The facility closed in the fall 1930 and prisoners were moved to the Headingley Gaol. The land was sold. No vestiges of the wooden prison barracks remain but a house with 26-inch thick granite walls, intended for the prison superintendent but left incomplete when the government vacated the site, was completed by subsequent owners. Also present is a stone barn and a four-cell jailhouse partially buried in the ground and encased in concrete and steel bars.
“Old prison farm now a homestead,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 1969, page 71.
“East Braintree: a community founded by hardy settlers,” Steinbach Carillon, 11 April 1984, page C1.
Pioneer History of McMunn, East Braintree and Glenn by Pioneer History Book Committee, 1989, pages 96-131.
We thank Julie, Carl, and Lorna Feilberg for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Bill Redekop, Lorna Annell, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 31 December 2016
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