Some Photographic Highlights of the Architectural Historical Survey of Manitoba

by Norman C. H. Russell

Manitoba Pageant, Volume 14, Number 2, Winter 1969

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Editor’s Note

The photographs in this issue of Manitoba Pageant were taken by the staff of the Architectural-Historical Survey of Manitoba in twenty-six rural centres and in the City of Brandon.

The leadership in launching the Architectural-Historical Survey of Manitoba was given in the first instance by the Manitoba Historical Society. Then, in the summer of 1964, when the project was actually started, the Manitoba Government and the Manitoba Association of Architects joined the Manitoba Historical Society in financing the initial undertaking. These bodies have continued to support subsequent surveys.

The work of the survey is carried on by a liaison committee which is composed of members representing the following groups: the Manitoba Association of Architects, the Faculty of Architecture (University of Manitoba), the Manitoba Historical Society, and the Public Archives of Manitoba.

The purpose of the survey is to find out what buildings of historical and (or) architectural significance exist in the province, to take photographs of them, to compile physical specifications and historical data about them, to catalogue the slides, prints and information about them in such a way as to provide a comprehensive and well organized file of historical and architectural interest, and to evaluate the buildings and establish by priority a list of those that are considered to be worthy of preservation.

Within the collection there are many public and private buildings of various styles and periods. Some are big and proud. Others are small and humble. All are significant in one way or another. The shops, barns, homes, churches—the places where the people worked, lived, and worshipped—the structural symbols of their life and habitation, are now preserved in the Public Archives of Manitoba.

Photographs of some of these buildings have been assembled herein by Mr. Norman Russell, who has provided as well the outlines which accompany each. Mr. Russell was one of the leading spirits in starting the Architectural-Historical Survey; he has followed its work with keen interest and active support, and he looks with pride to the current collection of photographs as one of the best in the country, an opinion which reflects the following statement of the Chief of the Research Section of the Historic Sites Division, Ottawa: “This is the broadest segment of Western Canada architecture, in date, style, and range, as well as geographically we have seen. The pictures show that the restoration and quality of early western work and the completeness of what has survived warrants further study with promising rewards. Despite the short time-span of their history, the prairies seem to boast a well varied architectural heritage.”

St. Michael’s Greek Orthodox Church, Gardenia, built in 1935.

The Neufeld home with attached barn, Kronstal, constructed in 1890, is extremely well preserved. Now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. E. Kehler

Queen’s Hotel, Boissevain, built in 1894-95; the third storey was added in 1900. A front balcony has been removed.

John Shepherd House, Birtle, built in 1895, has walls two feet thick. Mrs. John McTavish is the present owner.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Dynevor, built in 1853-54 by Archdeacon William Cockran.

Little Britain United Church, Little Britain, plans prepared in 1865 by Reverend James Nesbit. Erected in 1874 and opened by Reverend John Black.

Anglican Church of the Ascension, Stonewall, built of limestone with Gothic fenestration. Opened in 1882 by Archbishop Machray.

S. J. Jackson residence, Stonewall, built in 1882. The present owner is Mr. Garth Proctor. The original owner, S. J. Jackson, was a Winnipeg Alderman, Speaker of the Manitoba Legislature, and Member of Parliament.

St. Francois Xavier Roman Catholic Church (1900), the fourth church on the site. The original edifice stood beside the home of Cuthbert Grant.

These pews from the first church of St. Francois Xavier may date from 1828. Shaped by hand, they are held together by wooden dowels.

Thomas Muirhead home, Summerville District, built in 1879 of spruce logs.

Harry M. Patterson home, Brandon, built in 1895, a good example of the Victorian era “gingerbread” architecture.

James White home, Carberry, (1900-1903). White also built the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Carberry, the former for $9,000 in 1903, the latter for $13,000 in 1909.

Octagonal barn, Elgin, built in 1887-88, is a rarity in Manitoba. Access to its hayloft is by an outside ramp. The stalls are reached at ground level.

Sifton home, Brandon, built in 1892, has fieldstone foundation, brick walls, and mansard roof. Sir Clifford Sifton represented Brandon in the House of Commons from 1896 to 1911, serving as Minister of the Interior and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, retiring from politics in 1911 over the reciprocity issue.

St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Mountain Road, built in 1924-25 by Reverend Philip Ruh, O.M.I., and his parishioners. Destroyed by fire in 1966. Built in the shape of a cross 120' x 100', the dome being 128' high; reported to have been the largest frame church in Canada.

Boarding school, Fort Alexander, built in 1905, is an interesting example of mansard design. Environs historically significant as site of La Verendrye’s second Fort Maurepas and of the Nor’Westers Bas de la Riviere, latterly Fort Alexander, an HBC post.

Jacob Peter’s home, Blumenort, built in 1876, two years after the first settlers arrived there; the oldest building in the town, now the home of Mr. J. Funk.

Smoke house, Altbergthal, built by J. Wieler in 1899, and now located on property owned by his son.

Joe Benardine home, Elie, built in 1897.

Joe Benardine, a cabinet maker by trade, built this home and under the gables gave expression to his craftsmanship in the exceptional “ivy” treatment.

William Lagimodiere built this house at Lorette in 1880. He was a great-grandson of Jean Baptiste who made the epic snowshoe trek to Montreal in 1815 to tell Lord Selkirk of the attacks on the settlement. William was secretary-treasurer of the Municipality of Tache from 1880 to 1902, and before the Municipal Hall was built in 1893, council meetings were held in this house.

Hudson’s Bay Company store, Ste. Anne, built in 1872, does not appear in the Minutes of the Council of the Northern Department until Outfit 1874-75, when John H. Stanger, clerk, was put in charge. The last time the Ste. Anne post appeared in the Minutes was for Outfit 1879-80.
Photo: Manitoba Historical Society, taken November 1969 by Mrs. Molly Basken, photo scrapbook 1970-74.

St. Clement’s Anglican Church, Selkirk, built in 1860-61; stonework by Samuel Taylor. Bell brought from England by Reverend John West in 1820; installed November 16, 1862. Edifice consecrated 11 January 1864, by Bishop David Anderson. “The smallest but most serenely beautiful of all the Red River churches.” - Archdeacon Thomas.

Twin Oaks, Red River Road, built in 1857-58. Originally the Red River Academy, a private school for young ladies. Operated by Miss Matilda Davis until 1873. Property now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Neil C. Woods.

William Scott home, Red River Road, built in 1858 of limestone; walls three feet thick, exterior plastered and painted. Occupied by Scott family until 1963. Now owned by Mrs. Sage.

Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Church, Cook’s Creek. Built by Reverend Philip Ruh, O.M.I., and his parishioners. Started in 1932 and consecrated in 1941.

Senator Boulton home, Russell. Originally built of mud bricks in 1894; replaced with cement block in 1912. C. A. Boulton moved to Russell in 1880, organized “Boulton’s Scouts” in 1884, published his Reminescences of the North West Rebellion in 1886, appointed to the Senate in 1889. Represented Canada at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Pratt Block, Birtle, built by William McKenzie as a general store for Manwaring & Wright in 1884. Became the law office of Lewis St. George Stubbs in 1912 and the law office of John W. Pratt in 1920.

Metro Eleschuk’s home, erected in 1911, is located 10 miles north of Roblin. This log house bears the original hay thatching. Metro Eleschuk lived here until 1933; his son occupied the home until 1953.

City Hall, Brandon, built in 1890. Limestone foundation, brick walls with stone trim.

Edward Hudson home, Lympton, built in 1894. Located about three miles south of Dugald, it replaced the first log homestead house. The home and farm are owned and operated by fourth generation descendants of Edward Hudson.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Virden, designed by Reverend H. L. Watts and built in 1892; Gothic fenestration and buttresses. This church has been well cared for; it is a fine example of good stewardship.

The pews at St. Mary’s, Virden, showing the kneeling cushions with their ecclesiastical designs.

See also:

Photographs from an Historical-Architectural Survey
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 12, Number 2, Winter 1967

The Architectural-Historical Survey, Part 2 by Norman C. H. Russell
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 26, 1969-70 season

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Architectural Survey of Rural Manitoba (1964-1968)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Architectural Survey of Winnipeg (1970-1971)

Page revised: 2 September 2013