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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Asessippi Townsite (RM of Riding Mountain West)

In 1882, with a federal land grant and hope of an early railway connection, the Shell River Colonization Company founded the village of Asessippi (Cree for “shell river”). A dam, roller process grist mill, saw mill, shingle factory, brick works, cheese factory, and general store were built at the site, and eventually an iron bridge crossed the Shell River. Some 50 Ontario settlers homesteaded here by 1883 but the expected railway did not arrive. Lacking access to a larger market, the local industries failed and, in 1888, the Canadian government revoked the company’s charter and settlers gradually moved to Inglis, Roblin, and other nearby centres. A settlement persisted here until the early years of the 20th century. The post office closed in 1917.

At this site in the Rural Municipality of Riding Mountain West, a plaque erected in 1974 by the Manitoba Heritage Council marks the beginning of a trail that meanders through the former village site.

Asessippi Plaque and Trailhead

View of Asessippi (1971)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Assissippi #4.

Asessippi Townsite

Asessippi Townsite (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Asessippi Townsite

Shell River bridge at Asessippi, built in 1893 and partially dismantled in 1969 (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Asessippi Townsite

Sole remaining building at Asessippi (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Asessippi Plaque and Trailhead

Asessippi Plaque and Trailhead (June 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Location (lat/long): N50.95797, W101.32076
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

A Few Recollections of the Asessippi Country by James A. Johnston
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 17, Number 3, Winter 1972

Tales of Asessippi, The Robbery at Asessippi by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 18, Number 2, Autumn 1972

Tales of Asessippi: The Tent Store at Asessippi 1919 by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 19, Number 1, Autumn 1973

Tales of Asessippi: Christmas at Asessippi, 1915 by A. R. Devlin
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 19, Number 2, Winter 1974

Sources:

Geographic Names of Manitoba, Manitoba Conservation, 2000.

We thank Ed Ledohowski for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 January 2016

Historic Sites of Manitoba

A collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
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Please note that some sites in this collection are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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