Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: First Homestead in Western Canada (RM of Portage la Prairie)

Following the new system of survey adopted in 1871 the Canadian government inaugurated its homestead policy which in due time attracted settlers from all parts of the world. One mile west of this cairn, on the north-east quarter of section 35, township 12, range 7 west of the Principal Meridian, in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie, was the homestead of John Sutherland Sanderson, whose application was filed on 2 July 1872 and numbered “1”.

The monument was erected in 1956 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada at a ceremony attended by Premier Douglas Campbell, Father Antoine d’Eschambault of the HSMBC, Reeve Lawrence Smith, and Frank Brydon of the Portage Fair Board.

First homestead commemorative monument

First homestead commemorative monument (March 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.06249, W98.28555
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Plaques for Persons, Events and Sites of National Historic Significance


“Cairn commemorates west’s 1st homestead,” Manitoba Leader [Portage la Prairie], 19 July 1956, page 9.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 August 2019

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.

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2023 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.