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Ross House Museum

Link to:
Ross House Museum | Location | Hours | Admission | History

Ross House Museum, 140 Meade Street North, Winnipeg
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ross House, which served as the first Post Office in Western Canada, is one of the last remaining examples of Red River frame architecture in Winnipeg. In 1949, the house was saved from demolition by the Manitoba Historical Society and, after several relocations, the MHS operated it as a museum for 30 years. In 1984, the Museum was moved to its present location in Joe Zuken Heritage Park, and ownership was transferred to the City of Winnipeg. The MHS continues to operate Ross House Museum on behalf of the City, with the oversight of a Management Committee.

The building itself is as much a part of the museum as the artifacts it contains. It is made almost entirely of oak timber. All the logs used for construction were hand carved. The museum hosts an interpretive exhibit as well as rooms set to reflect the life of the Ross family when their home served as the Post Office.

Ross House Museum provides a glimpse into the operation of the early postal service in Western Canada, as well as 1850s homestead life in general, and the lives of the Ross family in particular.

Museum Location

Ross House Museum is located within the Joe Zuken Heritage Park at 140 Meade Street North, between Sutherland and Euclid Avenues, in the historic Point Douglas area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Click here for information on contacting the staff of Ross House Museum.

Hours of Operation

1 June to 31 August

Wednesdays to Sundays

10 AM to 4 PM

Mondays to Tuesdays

Closed

School classes and larger groups wishing tours before 1 June or after 31 August should contact the museum to arrange an appointment.

Admission

FREE! There is no charge to visit Ross House Museums. Donations are always welcome.

History of Ross House

William and Jemima Ross originally built Ross House on the shores of the Red River at the foot of Market Avenue. William’s father Alexander had provided the land. In 1855, William Ross was appointed Postmaster by the Council of Assiniboia and he operated the Post Office from his home. It was the first Post Office in Western Canada, other than those run by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Stamps and canceling devices were unavailable so early mail bore only the postmaster’s penned notation “Red River, B.N.A.” The monthly mail was carried by various means of transportation to Pembina, North Dakota, on the US-Canada border. Here it was stamped “Paid 10” and continued to its destination. The postal rate for a letter sent between Red River and Pembina was one penny. The United States postal rate from Pembina to eastern Canada was 10 US cents. Mail took approximately 3 to 4 weeks travel time to reach its destination.

Well after the Ross family had finished using the house it was used as an office for a construction company. In 1949, the Manitoba Historical Society, in conjunction with the City of Winnipeg, took possession of Ross House and moved it to Higgins Avenue, across from the former Canadian Pacific Railway passenger station. In 1984 it was moved to its present location on Meade Street North in Point Douglas Heritage Park, in the Joe Zuken Heritage Park. The Ross House Museum is owned by the City of Winnipeg and operated by the Manitoba Historical Society. The Society is responsible for the collection and display of the artifacts in Ross House and it provides personnel to operate the Museum.

See also:

A Walking Tour of North Point Douglas

Ross House, A Manitoba Historical Society Museum by Sheila Grover
Manitoba History, Number 2, 1981

Ross House by F. Hughes
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 9, Number 2, January 1964

Ross House by H. K. Davis
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 2, April 1957

William Ross (1825-1856)

Page revised: 15 February 2013

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