Historic Sites of Manitoba: McDougall House (3514 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg)
Originally located on the bank of the Seine River near Lorette, Manitoba, this 1½-storey log house in St. Norbert (now a municipally-designated historic site) was erected in 1883 for Marguerite McDougall, a widow, and her sons Francois-Daniel and Alexandre. The McDougalls were among several Metis families who moved from St. Boniface and St. Vital to areas further south along the Red and Seine rivers after the founding of Manitoba in 1870.
The house consists of dovetailed spruce logs, a common log construction technique of the time. The logs, ranging in diameter from 13 to 24 centimeters, were rough-planed on inner and outer sides. Mud or other similar substances was used to fill the spaces between adjacent logs. Doors and windows were cut after the walls were completed, and wooden siding was added to the exterior at some point in the past. The ground floor had a single room while the upper level was divided into three bedrooms.
Mrs. McDougall eventually moved to Lorette where she operated a general store. Alexandre McDougall built a home on an adjacent property, while Francois-Daniel lived in this house until his death in 1902. His daughter, Alexina Manaigre, lived in it until 1965 when she moved to St. Norbert. The house was moved to the Place St. Norbert Interpretive Centre on Pembina Highway next to the St. Norbert Market. On market days, it is operated as a museum by Heritage St. Norbert.
On the site of this park, on 1 November 1869, the Metis “barred” the road to the envoys of the Canadian government on their way to Upper Fort Garry to establish a new government. The intervention of the Metis forced the authorities to undertake negotiations which brought about the creation of the Province of Manitoba, and ensured the rights of the population of Red River. A monument near McDougall House commemorates a gathering on 1 November 1969, on the centenary of “La Barriere”.
McDougall House (3514 Pembina Highway), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, May 1988.
We thank Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 March 2020