The Architectural-Historical Survey, Part 2
by Norman C. H. Russell
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 26, 1969-70 season
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The first illustrated review of the Architectural-Historical Survey of Manitoba was presented by Mr. Russell at the meeting of the society held in Brandon on 10 February 1968. A reference to this presentation appears in the Transactions, Series III, Number 24, 1967-1968, and a selection of the photographs is in the Winter 1969 issue of Manitoba Pageant, Volume XIV, No. 2, Whole Number 39.
As an introduction to the slides in Part II of the Architectural-Historical Survey, Mr. Russell quoted extracts from a paper presented to the Manitoba Historical Society in 1963 by Mr. J. Friesen as follows:
Prior to 1870 settlement was confined mainly to the river lots along the Red and Assiniboine rivers. By 1871 Manitoba had been well advertised in Ontario and those who undertook the difficult and slow move to Red River began to occupy the prairie and parklands in the Stonewall, Prairie Grove and Springfield areas. Very few settlers were willing to homestead on the open prairies, for lack of wood and running water.
Emerson became the dispersal point for settlers pushing west. Trails from the Kildonans toward Shoal Lake gave rise to settlements such as Grassmere, Argyle and Woodlands. Immigrants followed the North Branch of the Saskatchewan Trail and established settlements such as Westbourne and Woodside. Beginning in 1877 settlers discovered that south of the Assiniboine River the lands above the escarpments were fertile and better drained than those lands in the valley and had a considerable growth of trees. This gave rise to settlements such as Darlingford, Somerset, Snowflake, Beaconsfield, Crystal City, Clearwater, and Swan Lake.
Traffic along the Assiniboine River called attention to the lands adjacent to the valley. From points of debarkation along the river, settlers proceeded to the Rapid City area, to the area surrounding the Brandon Hills as well as Minnedosa and Birtle. In 1881 settlement in more or less direct relation to the North and South Saskatchewan Trails appeared, giving rise to Wellwood, Oberon, Osprey, Neepawa and Eden.
In 1882-1887 immigration was at a low ebb. These were years of depression, of severe frost damage to crops and of drought. There remained areas of empty land in the southwestern portion of the province. There were the scantily settled wet lands between Morris and Carman, and the sandy lands along the Assiniboine. The largest area of relatively unoccupied land was in the southeast where poor soil and poor drainage effectively retarded settlement.
In 1874 group settlements such as the first Mennonites appeared, and French settlers from Quebec and Massachusetts settled in Letellier, St. Pierre, St. Malo, Ste. Anne and Ile des Chenes. Mennonites also moved into the area west of Red River toward the Pembina Hills. Icelanders in 1875 began settling along the west shore of Lake Winnipeg.
This is a thumbnail sketch of how Manitoba was settled prior to 1890. The specific development of Winnipeg between 1872 and 1892 is shown in the following table:
Number of buildings
Number of factories
Miles of sidewalks
Miles of street railway (horse)
Miles of street railway (electric)
Value of city property
Post office collections and delivery
Value of local improvements
From the developments in Winnipeg, as itemized in the foregoing table, a division of architectural-historical periods may be made which has valid application to both urban and rural areas. Buildings which were built by 1880 (90 years ago) may be classified as historical. Those built between 1880-1895 may be classified as the products of the expanding era in which Winnipeg grew at a rapid rate.
The following slides are of buildings which were built during these three periods. They are listed in chronological order and are grouped according to localities.
Upper Fort Garry Gate
St. James Anglican Church
Seven Oaks House
Kildonan Presbyterian Church
Redwood Brewery and Malt House
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Manitoba Free Press
154 Princess Street
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
King George Hotel
Vulcan Iron Works
Rosh Pina Synagogue
Salvation Army Citadel
Hugh John Macdonald residence
Alexander Black residence
Fort Garry Court
Canadian Pacific Station
St. Luke’s Anglican Church
Union Bank Building
Royal Alexandra Hotel
Trust and Loan Building
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canadian Imperial Bank
Electric Railway Building
Great West Permanent Building
Bank of Montreal
Lower Fort Garry
St. Andrew’s Anglican Church
St. Andrews Rectory
St. Peter’s Anglican Church (Dynevor)
Miss Davis’ School
William Scott residence
St. Clement’s Anglican Church
Little Britain Presbyterian Church
Grey Nuns’ House
St. Anne’s of the Poplars Anglican Church
Hudson’s Bay Store
Lawrence Ferris residence
Custom House and Jail
William Fairbanks residence
George Pocock residence
J. B. Karenfloffen residence
William Lagimodiere residence
Neufeld home and granary
Church of the Ascension (Anglican)
Merchants Bank Building
A. N. Smith residence
Photographs from an Historical-Architectural Survey
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 12, Number 2, Winter 1967
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Architectural Survey of Rural Manitoba (1964-1968)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Architectural Survey of Winnipeg (1970-1971)
Page revised: 11 January 2013
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