Historic Sites of Manitoba: International Peace Garden
The International Peace Garden, located on the international border near the towns of Dunseith, North Dakota, and Boissevain, was originally conceived in 1928 by Dr. Henry J. Moore, a horticulturist and teacher from Islington, Ontario. Over 50,000 people attended its dedication ceremony on 14 July 1932 and physical development of the site began two years later.
Over the decades, a number of structures have been built on the Gardens’ 2,339-acre site. They include a Peace Chapel (1970) that straddles the Canada-US border, the Carillon Bell Tower (1976), a 37-metre-tall Peace Tower (1982), a 9-11 Memorial consisting of ten steel girders from the former World Trade Center (2002), and a 17,600 square foot Interpretive Centre (2010).
A stone monument near the entrance to the Garden was unveiled at the dedication ceremony in 1932. Additional plaques were affixed to it on 25 May 2000 on the occasion of a meeting of the Premiers of western Canada and some Governors of the western United States. Present at the meeting were Edward Schafer (Governor of North Dakota), Dirk Kempthorne (Governor of Idaho), Gary Doer (Premier of Manitoba), Ujjal Dosanjh (Premier of British Columbia), Roy Romanow (Premier of Saskatchewan), Ralph Klein (Premier of Alberta), Stephen Kakiwi (Premier of the North West Territories), Pat Duncan (Premier of Yukon), Paul Okalik (Premier of Nunavut), Gordon D. Giffin (US Ambassador to Canada), and Raymond A. J. Chretien (Canadian Ambassador to the US).
A pair of bronze plaques, mounted at ground level in the gardens, were deployed in the 1960s. One plaque, unveiled by Lieutenant Governor Errick French Willis on behalf of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on 17 June 1961, commemorates the centenary of the Dakota Territory from the state of North Dakota was carved. The second plaque, unveiled by Governor William L. Guy on behalf of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly on 23 June 1967, commemorates the centenary of Canada.
The Carillon Bell Tower with 14 bells was a memorial gift for Lady Arna Sifton from her two sons. For 42 years, the bells were located on the First Methodist Church in Brandon. In the mid 1970s, the Brandon Central United Church donated the bells to the Peace Garden.
The Let Peace Prevail monument composed of steel rescues from the devastation of the World Trade Center was officially unveiled by Manitoba Premier Gary Doer on 11 September 2002. Nearby is a display of steel girders from the World Trade Center.
Photos & Coordinates
A Century of Horticulture in Manitoba: 1880-1980 by Peter Jacob Peters, 1988, page 441.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 11 December 2022