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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Engimýri House (Riverton, Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton)

In 1901, the historic house at Engimýri (Meadow Mire) was built at Riverton and is one of the oldest surviving residences in the Icelandic River area. It is a remarkable example of the frame structures that were built by those with the means to do so, and was constructed by pioneer carpenters Trausti Vigfússon and Jónas Jónasson of Lón. It was the homestead of pioneers Tómas Ágúst Jónasson and Guðrún Egidía Jóhannesdóttir, who arrived in New Iceland in 1876, and was named for Tómas’ birthplace in the Öxnadalur Valley of northern Iceland.

Situated at the northern terminus of the original Icelanders’ Road (Colonization Road), which connected the Icelandic River with Sandy Bar, Gimli, and areas further south, Engimýri became a stopping place for travellers and a haven of Icelandic hospitality. This meeting place was a vital part of the community and housed those travelling and working on the freighters travelling down Lake Winnipeg, mail carriers, and officials. This followed the tradition carried on by Tómas’ parents, whose home at Bakkasel in Öxnadalur served as a wayside inn. Tómas' brother, Sigtryggur Jónasson, also stayed at this house in the latter part of his life. It was subsequently occupied by Tómas' son and grandson of the same name. In 1977, Engimýri was designated a centennial farm.

Entrance to Engimýri House

Entrance to Engimýri House (May 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Engimýri House

Engimýri House (May 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N51.00024, W96.98958
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Sigtryggur Jónasson (1852-1942)

Sources:

Other Icelandic River Historic Sites, Icelandic River Heritage Sites.

Sigtryggur Jónasson ‘Father of New Iceland’ Statue Unveiling and Engimýri Homestead Renovation, Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto.

Parks, Beaches & Places of Interest, Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton.

This page was prepared by Rose Kuzina.

Page revised: 28 November 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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