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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba Summer Edition - Boreal Shores Art Tour

Here are five historic sites to see while on the Boreal Shores Art Tour. It runs from East Braintree in the south, through Whiteshell Provincial Park, and passes through the communities of Whitemouth, Seven Sisters Falls, Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet, Powerview-Pine Falls, and ends at Victoria Beach. Along the way, there are 46 artists working in a range of media.

Search the MHS Historic Sites of Manitoba database for a complete list of historic sites.

Antler River Museum

East Braintree

There are a couple of places close together here: the Midwinter School, a former one-room schoolhouse 1/3 mile off the Trans-Canada Highway that’s been converted into a small museum and, less than a mile away and just a short walk off the road, the remains of the Brookeville Granite Quarry where, for just a few years in the late 1910s and early 1920s, gray and red stone for grave markers, buildings, and other uses was quarried. Several large boulders that were rejected by the quarry workers, and the concrete foundations of the large building where stone was polished for shipment by rail to Winnipeg can be seen.

Antler River Museum

Trans-Canada Garage

From West Hawk to north of Whitemouth, we travel on Highway #44, the former Trans-Canada Highway until 1958. If we think about the facilities that would have existed to serve the early motoring traffic, the Trans-Canada Garage on the west edge of the village of Whitemouth is worth a sight-seeing stop. Built in the early 1930s, it appears much as it did in the mid-1950s. It closed in 1997.

Antler River Museum

Old Pinawa Dam

It is worth making a short side-trip off the art tour to see the remains of the first hydroelectric plant on the Winnipeg River, and the first year-round facility, built between 1903 and 1906. Its last generator was removed in 1951 at which point the river flow was diverted to the Seven Sisters Generating Station. Wooden houses at Old Pinawa were moved to Great Falls and brick ones were abandoned. Several explanatory plaques provide information on this ghost town.

Antler River Museum

Pine Falls Paper Mill

Once the economic engine of this entire region, the paper mill operated from 1927 to 2009, with a brief closure during the Great Depression and after a major upgrade in the late 1990s and 2000 turned it into a state-of-the-art facility. Declining demand for newsprint (as a result of declining interest in newspapers) doomed the mill. The entire site is surrounded by a fence and there is not much left of the former mill to see. However, there are two reminders: a steam locomotive and a diesel locomotive once used to move coal that fueled the mill.

Antler River Museum

Victoria Beach Pioneer Cemetery

On a tree-covered knoll along Highway #504, jjust north of Highway #59, is a small cemetery with the graves for many of the first settlers, including founding families such as the Olafssons, Hamptons, Lesters and Ateahs. The headstones tell the story of the district’s early years, with immigrants from Lebanon, Iceland, and England as well as Métis people. Fishers, farmers, ranchers, teachers and truckers can all be found. The cemetery has evolved to include graves of summer cottagers who now dominate the community.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 August 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

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