Historic Sites of Manitoba: Tanner’s Crossing (Beach Drive, Minnedosa)
A grandson of John “Falcon” Tanner, John Tanner first settled this site around 1872, arriving here with the John Norquay, George Sandison and James Sinclair families from Second Crossing (Westbourne). John Tanner, a veteran of the US Civil War, lost his right arm during a Sioux raid, which he helped to repel in the late 1860s, north of present-day Portage la Prairie. This crossing over the Little Saskatchewan River was the middle of three Fort Ellice Trail crossings in this immediate area. At this point, Tanner established a stopping house from which he sold supplies and offered shelter to settlers and traders passing through on their journey westward.
A North West Mounted Police post was situated across the river from Tanner’s Crossing. It operated from 1875 to 1878. Tanner would ferry passengers and supplies across the river in a bull boat. He later built a bridge by felling two large trees and cross-planking them with stringer poles. To pass over this bridge, a toll of 30 cents was charged. Thus was born the first business in the area. Tanner later gained titled to this quarter section and the quarter directly north and sold them to J. S. Armitage in 1879 for division into building lots.
From 1877 to 1880, Tanner operated the post office from this location. In 1880, the fledgling village, which had previously been called “Tanner’s Crossing”, “Hall’s Ford” and “Prairie City”, became officially known as “Minnedosa, North West Territories”. In 1885, the Tanners and Sinclair moved to Prince Albert and then to Kinosota on Lake Manitoba where John Tanner died on 6 September 1932, at the age of 93.
In 1993, the site was designated by the municipality as historically significant.
Death registration [John Tanner], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Tanner's Crossing (Centennial Park), Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.
We thank Glen Toews for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 August 2023