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Manitoba
History

No. 87


War
Memorials
in Manitoba


This Old
Elevator


Abandoned
Manitoba


Memorable
Manitobans


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Middlechurch Home (RM of West St. Paul)

Link to:
Presidents | Superintendents / Executive Directors | Photos & Maps | Sources

In the fall of 1906, Margaret Scott called a meeting of the Canadian Women’s Union (CWU) to present her concerns about care for the elderly. Since its founding in 1882, the CWU had overseen several different institutions providing housing and care to needy women and children. However, a number of other agencies in Winnipeg were then pursuing the same or similar lines of work. Scott’s speech about the lack of welfare services for the elderly in Winnipeg resonated with the Union. Before the end of the year, they converted their building on Lydia Street, then operating as a refuge for women, to establish Winnipeg’s first home for the elderly.

The Middlechurch site, located just north of Winnipeg on the Red River, was purchased by the CWU in 1907 from the federal government, where they had operated an Indian residential school, until it was partly destroyed by fire. An undamaged three-story building, the former superintendent’s home, served initially as the residence for the Winnipeg Old Folks Home, as it was then known. In 1909, repairs to the larger school building converted it into the main residence. To be admitted, persons had to have both medical and housing needs.

Through the 1920s, residents of the Home—furnished in 1915 with a 15-person hospital wing—numbered between 75 and 80; the opening of a new building in 1930 expanded living and working space for residents and staff. Donald D. McLean, who became the Home’s Superintendent in 1927, reportedly walked all the way from Winnipeg to Middlechurch when he heard about the job opening. The organization, which is today known as Middlechurch Home and provides care to some 200 residents, was one of The Winnipeg Foundation’s first grant recipients.

Presidents

Period

President

1883

Mrs. Galston

1884-1890

Mrs. Amos Rowe

1891-1911

Marion Samuel Bryce (1839-1920)

1911-1912

Mrs. Thomson

1912-1913

Mrs. T. W. Taylor

1914-1938

Mrs. Charles Little

1938-1943

Mrs. F. H. Hughes

1943-1948

Mrs. A. C. McMillan

1948-1953

Mrs. C. S. Wiggins

1953-1958

Mrs. J. G. Alexander

1958-1962

Mrs. A. K. Stephens

1962-1964

Mrs. W. L. Palk

1964-1965

Mrs. G. B. Scrivener

1965-1967

Mrs. Desmond Smith

1967-1969

Mrs. R. T. Kerr

1969-1971

Mrs. E. F. Willis

1971-1973

Mrs. C. M. Stovel

1973-1974

Mrs. H. D. Christie

1974-1975

Mrs. W. M. Auld

1975-1977

Mrs. T. D. Melhuish

1977-1978

Mrs. R. T. Morris

1978-1981

A. Marguerite “Bonnie” Kerr

1981-1983

Ethel DuVal

1983-1985

Joyce McFarlane

1985-1987

Jessie Saunders

1987-1990

Norma Kaisaris

1990-1992

Vern G. Cooke

1992-1994

William “Bill” McGilvery

1994-?

Gwen Sharp

Superintendents / Executive Directors

Period

Superintendent / Executive Director

1927-1953

Donald D. McLean (?-?)

1953-1974

William “Bill” Smith (1913-1992)

1975-1985

Gelda Marian Lowther (1920-2000)

1985-?

Laurie Holgate

Photos & Maps

Middlechurch Home

Middlechurch Home (October 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Location (lat/long): N49.97907, W97.06434
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

Our Heritage: The Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg, 1883-1995, Winnipeg: The Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg, 1996.

This page was prepared by Conrad Sweatman, Gordon Goldsborough, and George Penner.

Page revised: 5 November 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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


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