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Historic Sites
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Archway Warehouse, Jail and Powder Magazine Remains (Norway House, Northern Manitoba)

Norway House was the crossroads of the northern transport network of the Hudson’s Bay Company during most of the 19th century. The Archway Warehouse, built in 1840-1841, is the oldest surviving Red River frame warehouse in western Canada and also Manitoba’s oldest log edifice on its original site. The Jail, erected in 1855-1856, is the oldest extant lockup in the province. Earlier wooden structures at Upper Fort Garry and York Factory have been demolished. The Powder Magazine, erected in 1837-1838, was the first structure built of stone in Manitoba. Though now in ruins, its stones were quarried near Lower Fort Garry. In 1984, the area became a provincially-designated historic site.

In 1931, a plaque was installed at Norway House by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to commemorate the role that the community played in the development of northern Canada. The first Norway House was built in 1814 at Mossy Point on Lake Winnipeg by Norwegian axemen hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company to cut a winter road from the lake to York Factory. After 1821 the post became the HBC’s principal depot for the Athabasca brigade. Having been destroyed by fire it was rebuilt here in 1826 near the site of the earlier Jack River House. Its location made it for many years a convenient meeting place for the Council of the Northern Department, and even after the general decline in the fur trade at mid-century Norway House remained an important trading post.

Norway House is historically significant for two additional reasons: 1) it was the place where Treaty No. 5 was made between the the Saulteaux (Ojibwa) and Swampy Cree First Nations people and the Crown in 1875, and 2) it was the place where the Reverend James Evans invented the Cree Syllabic System.

Archway Warehouse at Norway House

Archway Warehouse at Norway House (March 2018)
Source: George Penner

Jail at Norway House

Jail at Norway House (March 2018)
Source: George Penner

National commemorative plaques at Norway House

National commemorative plaques at Norway House (March 2018)
Source: George Penner

Site Location (lat/long): N53.98177, W97.83584
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

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

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Norway House Plaques (Norway House, Northern Manitoba)

Sources:

Archway Warehouse, Jail and Powder Magazine Remains, Norway House, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

This page was prepared by George Penner and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 March 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

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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