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Time Lines
Volume 37, No 6
August / September 2005

Contents:

President's Message - Living History

New Members

Donations

Dalnavert Museum

Canada Day at Ross House Museum

MHS Historic Preservation Committee

Heritage News

Centennial Farms

MHS Fall Field Trip 2005

Researching Furniture Made in Manitoba Before 1870

Half-Day Tour: Demolishing our Past

Historic Census Records Released

MHS Spring Field Trip 2005



Edwin Nix Memorial Library at the MHS office

President's Message - Living History

Good teachers of our history do more than simply recite facts and figures; they engage their students at such a fundamental level that they don’t just understand our history, they live it. Rather than bore them with the statistics of WWI trench warfare, such teachers have their students dig trenches, spend time in them, and in a small but meaningful way, grow to empathize with the poor fellows who experienced the trenches first-hand.

Numerous people enjoy reliving the past through historically accurate reenactments. In the USA, there are legions of enthusiastic Civil War reenactors who strive for a high degree of accuracy, eating what Union or Rebel soldiers ate, wearing what they wore, and living how they lived. Here in Manitoba, members of the Manitoba Living History Society reenact time periods ranging from the fur trade through the early 20th century. Yet, while reenactments are undoubtedly an excellent way to experience history, there are many people who, for one reason or another, are unable (or unwilling) to participate in them.

At the opposite end of the living history spectrum are those who live vicariously through the participation of others. For these folks, there has been a recent spate of “reality” television programs such as the popular Pioneer Quest series, which allowed us to see some of what Manitoba’s pioneers experienced, followed by Quest for the Bay, Klondike: The Quest for Gold, and Quest for the Sea. (Frantic Films’ upcoming installment Bomber Boys: The Fighting Lancaster will explore the story of the men who learned to fly bombers during the Second World War.) Elsewhere, 1900 House and Manor House in the UK and Frontier House in the USA offered their viewers an intimate look at life at various times periods. While certainly engaging, such programs do not allow us to face history on our own terms, using our own senses and, in my view, they do not provide the rich experience that living history should.

Is there middle ground between active living history and television viewing? Yes! I believe that meaningful historical experiences can be had from small but accurate recreations of the past. For example, several times while I lived in the Edmonton in the mid-1980s, I went to Sunday brunch at Jasper House in Fort Edmonton Park (which features a fur trade post, and city streets from 1885, 1905, and 1920). The serving staff were dressed in period costume, the furnishings were reasonably faithful recreations, and the food was, if not the same as what Edmontonians ate in 1885, pretty close. I felt as those I had been whisked back to the late 19th century for the hour or so that it took to eat. This summer, while touring Saskatchewan and Alberta for their 100th anniversaries, I had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Fort Edmonton Park and found that while the Jasper House was no longer open for brunch, there was something even better. Two years ago, the Hotel Selkirk opened at the corner of 1905 and 1920 streets. Unlike the other Park buildings which are not intended as real working structures, this one is a fully functional hotel with 30 guest rooms, a four-star restaurant, and a well-stocked standup bar. In keeping with the 1920s theme, bedrooms do not have television sets (they weren’t invented then). But they do concede to modern sensibilities by having modern toilet facilities and air conditioning in each room. We took advantage of their “Summer Bed & Breakfast” rate of $104 per night which included a room for the four of us (two adults), family admission to Fort Edmonton Park (a $30 value where, among many other attractions, we enjoyed a production of the 19th-century short play Box and Cox), a complimentary hot breakfast, valet parking, bottled water and chocolate truffles in the room, and “take me home” teddy bears for both kids (who also ate breakfast for free). In the evening, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner costing no more than any higher-end restaurant, served on china with real linen tablecloths. The staff (in period costume) was friendly and accommodating of our every request. Afterwards, we walked around the Park after it had closed officially, getting a “behind-the-scenes” look at its outstanding facilities! The package cost less than what we paid the night before at a much poorer hotel elsewhere in the city. For excellent service at a reasonable price, in a tranquil setting amongst an otherwise hectic urban landscape, I heartily recommend the Hotel Selkirk to heritage buffs and cost-conscious travellers alike!


Hotel Selkirk in Fort Edmonton Park


Our sumptuous room in Hotel Selkirk


The view of 1905 Street from the steps of the Hotel Selkirk

Someone will surely correct me, but I do not think that anything similar to the Hotel Selkirk experience exists in Manitoba. Of course, there are sites around the province, such as Lower Fort Garry, Steinbach’s Mennonite Heritage Village, Portage la Prairie’s Fort La Reine, or Austin’s Manitoba Agricultural Museum, where one can walk through recreated historical towns. Some of them periodically have people in period costume with whom visitors can interact. But I do not think that talking with someone who is pretending to be, say, a 19th-century blacksmith gives one the same experience as actually spending time in a blacksmith shop, dressed like a blacksmith, breathing the air, touching the equipment, and coming to feel that you are really there. None of these places have made me “live” history to the same degree as sitting on the grass enjoying an old play, having a period meal, and spending the night in a 1920 hotel room.

Manitoba has a rich history that is ripe for promotion at a great living history facility. I believe that Manitoba should have a living history facility akin to Edmonton’s Fort Edmonton Park and Calgary’s Heritage Park. This is, I think, an unexploited opportunity that would need a firm commitment from both Manitoba’s heritage community, and all levels of government. But it need not be a drain on limited public funds – for instance, Fort Edmonton Park operates without direct tax dollars from the City of Edmonton. Not only could such a facility stimulate general interest in Manitoba’s past, it would facilitate closer interaction between the province’s diverse (and sometimes isolated) heritage organizations. For instance, the streetcars at Fort Edmonton Park were restored, and are maintained and operated by railway enthusiasts. Each group would contribute its respective expertise and, by working with other groups to create a comprehensive living history experience, grow to realize that more can be achieved by working together cooperatively.

What do you think about the state of living history in Manitoba? Is there already a place for Manitobans to experience history first-hand that could be enhanced (or publicized better)? Is there a need for a new living history facility? As usual, I am always interested in hearing your thoughts, on this or any subject. Feel free to call me at 204-474-7469 or send email to president@mhs.mb.ca. Or exchange ideas using the forum on our web site at www.mhs.mb.ca/forum. In the meantime, I hope that the rest of your summer will be enjoyable!

New Members

Jim Jawrowski
Russ Gourluk
Katie Pollack

Donations

MHS General Operations

Drs. Harry & Mary Lynn Duckworth
Edith Young
Céline & Allen Kear
Rosemary Malaher
Bente Cunnings
Ernestine Fenny
Jim & Pat Richtik
H. Jean Mitchell
Glen King
Eira Friesen
Sandra Mott James
Bruce Donaldson

MHS Centennial Farm Program

Roy M. Livingstone

MHS Ross House Operations

R. G. Stanley Contracting
Joe Zuken Memorial Association (Wpg. Foundation) – Canada Day Program

MHS Dalnavert Visitor Centre – Capital Building Fund

One Anonymous Friend
Margaret M. Downie
Duff Roblin

MHS Dalnavert Visitor Center- Capital Garden Project

Kathleen Campbell

Dalnavert Museum

With the opening of the Visitors Centre, Dalnavert is gaining more attention from the community. This has resulted in organizations and businesses renting space for meetings in the W. Steward Martin Auditorium. In response to an appeal in Time Lines and the daily newspapers new volunteers are arriving to work with returning volunteers in the gift shop and reception area. Museum admissions are increasing and gift shop sales are growing as more merchandise is arriving. In the garden, planting in the 1895 flower gardens is in progress and MHS members are donating plants from their own gardens.

If you would like to volunteer at Dalnavert. or rent the auditorium for meetings or special events please phone the museum director, Linda Neyedly at 204-943-2835 for more information.

Display cases in the W. Steward Martin Auditorium in the new Visitors Centre are showing Made in Manitoba, an exhibition by local ceramic artists, some of whom have achieved national and international recognition. The MHS expresses appreciation to the artists and private collectors who have generously made their ceramics available for the exhibition.

Carl James reports that the annual Dalnavert garage sale held on the May long weekend was a success. The sale, again in partnership with the Ukrainian Labour Temple, was held at their hall on 591 Pritchard Ave. Dalnavert's share of the proceeds was about $1300. Thanks to all MHS members who donated items for the sale - and to Linda Meckling and Victor Sawelo for the many hours of unpacking and pricing merchandise plus a day on the sales floor.


Volunteer Margaret Kentner at the reception desk in the Dalnavert Visitors Centre


Gift shop in the Dalnavert Visitors Centre

Canada Day at Ross House Museum

The day began and ended well with exceptionally good weather. Volunteers from the residents’ committee, Gerald and Irene Brown and Barry Hammond provided additional barbecues to bring our total of four into efficient use. The meat was a special order of home made hot dogs from the neighbouring Metro Meats store. Approximately 225 hot dogs were served to the same number of people by the volunteers from the community and members of the Ross House Management Committee.

At noon Judy Wasylicia Leis MP raised the Canada flag and unveiled the panel display of the “Birds’ Eye View of Winnipeg.” She spoke about the good work of the staff and volunteers at Ross House over the past ten years that she has attended the July 1 event.

Don Fraser provided interpretation of postal history related to the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first post office in western Canada at Ross House. See the pictorial display in the museum.

During the afternoon MHS members Tim Worth, Carl James and Lily and Brent Stearns conducted two walking tours of north Point Douglas pointing out the interesting architecture and sites of historic importance.

After the tour, Tim Horton’s Hospitality caravan provided coffee and cookies. Cakes were donated by Abe Arnold of the Joe Zuken Committee which is planning a dedication of a plaque in Joe Zuken Park for the Canada Day ceremony on July 1, 2006. Also, we thank the Joe Zuken Memorial Association for donating $100 to support the 2005 Canada Day barbecue.


Ross House staff: Daniel Schulz (Green Team worker), Victor Sawelo (museum manager), Derek Zorniak (guide)


Barbecuing 225 hot dogs


Visitors watch the unveiling of the interpretive panel


Judy Wasylycia-Leis MP and Victor Sawelo unveil Ross House interpretive panel on Canada Day

MHS Historic Preservation Committee

This past Canada Day the Historic Preservation Committee presented its long awaited Walking Tour of North Point Douglas. In actuality there were two walking tours, the northern segment featuring the residential content of the neighbourhood and the southern end focusing on the industrial content. Approximately twenty-five people took the opportunity to take a different glimpse at Winnipeg’s earliest residential neighbourhood. The literature developed for the walking tours will eventually find it way into the MHS web site but also printed versions will be available at Ross House Museum for those who wish to do a self guided tour of the neighbourhood.

The committee co-chairs wish to thank all those who laboured long and hard on the walking tour project. Unfortunately we are losing one of our colleagues. Lily Stearns has indicated that the preparation of the walking tours was her final project and that that she is withdrawing from the committee. Committee members will miss Lily’s insight and hard work and are indebted to her for all her efforts.

Although Central Park has remained a popular green space for its central Winnipeg neighbourhood, time has not been kind to the monument. This fountain was installed to commemorate Emily Margaret Waddell. Mrs. Waddell died in 1908 and stipulated in her will that if her husband Thomas, a local temperance leader, remarried, he donate $10,000 to the City for construction of a fountain. Mr. Waddell, who did remarry, was able to raise the funds and in 1914 met his obligation. The Waddell Fountain is a rare example of High Victorian style in Manitoba and is based on the 1844 Gothic Revival monument in Edinburgh to Romantic poet Sir Walter Scott. It received a provincial historic designation on November 30, 1993.

Despite attempts by the City to maintain the structure, pieces have been broken off; deterioration has taken place and the water flow no longer functions. The problems that the fountain currently exhibits have been a point of discussion at recent City of Winnipeg Historic Buildings Committee meetings as has been an engineering report that the City commissioned. Based upon the findings of the report the committee has recommended that restoration of the Waddell Fountain take place.

Recently articles have appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press concerning the fountain and other infrastructure developments in Winnipeg. One rightly criticized the City for not allocating enough money to support the ongoing maintenance of infrastructure such as the fountain. Others express concerns over the new infrastructure developments on the contention that the money could be better spent elsewhere. These same concerns have been heard year after year and one is left wondering if citizens of Winnipeg mightn't have expressed their worries way back when the fountain was originally installed. If Winnipeg City Hall is going to accept certain infrastructure developments then it must be prepared to accept that these same components of the community must be maintained, as they are part of the identity of the community.

Heritage News

On June 27 it was reported that seven young Métis paddlers had arrived in Winnipeg, the half-way point of an expedition following historic trade routes used in the 1700s and 1800s. The 23-hundred-kilometre expedition is sponsored by the Ontario Métis Nation and funded by the federal government. The canoeists left Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 2nd for Batoche, Saskatchewan. Each day, the modern voyageurs spend up to 14 hours paddling and portaging, taking occasional breaks to eat and rest. The expedition is expected to reach Batoche late in July in time for the annual Back to Batoche celebrations.

MHS member Barry Bills has compiled person indexes to two important books on Manitoba history: the Reverend A. C. Garrioch's 1923 book, First Furrows: A History of the Settlement of the Red River Country, Including that of Portage la Prairie, and Robert B. Hill's 1890 book Manitoba: History of its Early Settlement, Development, and Resources. The indexes will be especially helpful for genealogists researching family ties in the Portage area. Copies are available for $10 each from the Portage and District Library (email: pvoskamp@portagelibrary.com). Proceeds will be used to purchase a microform reader for the library.

Eric Robinson, Manitoba Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, declared The Rufus Prince Building, the site of a former residential school at Long Plains First Nation near Portage la Prairie, a heritage site at a plaque unveiling. "This positive initiative is only a small step in healing the wounds created by the residential school system," said Robinson. "Turning the painful legacy into a learning experience is a tribute to the survivors and their families." The heritage building is expected to open as a museum in 2008.

Grandparents' Day will be held on 18 September at the Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum, in Elkhorn, Manitoba. The event will feature old time music and a barbecue. Located 100 km west of Brandon on Highway #1, the museum contains what is arguably one of the Canada's most extensive collections of antique autos, dating to 1908. For more information, call Agnes Wolfe, Curator of the Museum, at 204-845-2604 or 204-845-1000.

The Mennonite Heritage Museum in Steinbach has opened an exhibit New Life: The Funeral as a Rite of Passage in Mennonite Communities. The exhibit put together by curator Roland Sawatzky explores ceremonies surrounding death, material culture and belief systems of Mennonite funerals in the past in Manitoba. The project was supported by a grant from Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism and financial assistance from the Steinbach Funeral Home. The exhibit will run until May 2006.

The St. Andrews Heritage Centre opened at # 6 Riverview Street. on May 12, Manitoba Day. This is the first municipal museum in the R.M. of St. Andrews. The RM is celebrating its 125th anniversary. It is hoped that the museum will attract people who want to learn more about the history of the area. Included in the displays are a 1920 wedding dress, baby clothes, an army cot, cream separator, scales, hand tools and a 1906 McLaughlin carriage.

The Marine Museum of Manitoba in Selkirk received the Interlake Tourism Award at an awards banquet held at Oak Hammock Marsh. The museum began in 1974 when a loan was procured to restore and display the MS Keenora. Five other ships and a tugboat have been added to the museum. The Marine Museum, a non-profit organization, has increased visibility in the community with pancake breakfast fundraisers, visitor appreciation days and school tours. The Selkirk Journal reports that the museum’s Halloween Haunt has become the biggest draw of the season, attracting thousands.

The Waskada Museum Committee is in the process of restoring “a little piece of history” in the J. R. Amos Blacksmith Shop piece by piece. First a new roof was put on the building. This summer a replica of the original brick double flue forge is being built. The shop was originally built in 1927 and remained in operation until the early 1960s. The chairperson of the museum board, Hilt Wallace, is quoted in the Deloraine Times & Star saying “We wanted to bring back a bit of history to the area. The blacksmith shop was one of the most important businesses in the agricultural area in days gone by and it seemed only fitting that we restore this one when the possibility came around.”

Centennial Farms

Click here for an up-to-date list of Centennial Farms.

The rural municipality of Whitemouth celebrated its centennial with a week of activities in July. One evening was devoted to honouring the Centennial Farm families in the municipality. The program was chaired by Bob Porth of Seven Sisters Falls. In attendance and bringing greetings were Vic Toews, MP for Provencher, Gerald Hawranik, MLA for Lac du Bonnet, Rosann Wowchuk, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and representatives from the surrounding municipalities as well as the Reeve of the RM of Whitemouth, Don Nichol.

The five families who were honoured and had received recognition previously from the Manitoba Historical Society are listed below with the year of their Centennial Farm plaque:

Robert & Dona Henderson, Whitemouth, 1994

Leslie Wardrop, Whitemouth, 1994

Russell & Patricia Klaprat (Alpers farm), River Hills 1997

Gordon & Joyce Klepatz and Wayne Klepatz, (Beeskau farm) Whitemouth, 1999

Ray & Erika Henschel, River Hills, 2002

Ten more families were honoured at a ceremony at the Community Hall, Whitemouth, July 26, 2005. Mrs. Wowchuk presented Century Farm gate signs and certificates on behalf of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural initiatives. Mr. Nichol presented plaques on behalf of the RM of Whitemouth and Anne MacVicar represented the MHS and presented Centennial Farm plaques to the following families:

Elmer Altstadt NE 15-13-11 EPM 1901

Alice Gulenchyn SSW 9-11-12 EPM 1899

Jim & Leslie Kirby WSW 32-11-12 EPM 1903

William & Ruth (Golke) Klaprat, Russell & Patricia Klaprat, part of NW 21-13-11 EPM west of Whitemouth River 1904

Daniel Korlak SW 7-11-12 EPM 1900

Sigurdur Sigurdson (Tirschmann farm) SW 22-13-11 EPM 1899

Julie Sitar NW 25-10-11 EPM 1901

William Sitar WNE 36-10-11 EPM 1901

Albert Schultz WNW 15-13-11 EPM 1901, ENE 16-13-11 EPM 1901

Lawrence & Ruth Zink part of NE 9-13-11 EPM east & south of the Whitemouth River 1902

MHS Fall Field Trip 2005

As all Manitobans are aware, we share the world’s longest undefended border with the United States. Although celebrated as a model of international cooperation it does not mean that boundary issues have not played a crucial role in Canadian history. This field trip will explore the history and present status of US-Canadian boundary issues, primarily the water issues that are currently a source of tension between the State of North Dakota and Manitoba. The trip will focus on the controversial proposal to channel the waters of Devil’s Lake into to the Sheyenne River, which drains into the Red River.

The trip will be guided by Bryan Oborne, president of Panterra Management. Bryan is a frequent contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press on environmental and water issues. He has been intimately involved in watershed planning and management, as well as agriculture and consumer communications.

The trip will leave from the north steps of the Manitoba Legislature at 6:00 pm on Friday evening, 16th September, and will return to its starting point at about 6:00 pm on Sunday, 18th September. On Friday evening we will journey down to Grand Forks ND where we will stay overnight. On Saturday morning we will examine the flood protection works established after the flood of 1997 and see some of the areas that were devastated by the flood-waters. Following this we will journey to Devil’s Lake to examine the flood problem that the town is facing. After lunch we will tour the historic centre of the town and visit points in the surrounding district to get a better understanding of the history of the fluctuations in the level of Devil’s Lake and a thorough appreciation of the background to the lake drainage controversy. We will spend Saturday night at Spirit Lake Resort & Casino near Devil’s Lake. On the Sunday morning we will continue westwards to Rugby (the geographical centre of North America) before crossing the border at the International Peace Gardens’ port of entry. After lunch, and a look at the murals of Boissevain, we will visit the Tobacco Creek watershed area and learn about contemporary watershed management practices in southern Manitoba.

As we will be crossing an international boundary participants must have photo-identification (preferably a valid Canadian passport) although I understand that a Canadian Drivers Licence and birth certificate are acceptable. If you are not a Canadian citizen be advised that you must ensure that your documentation is in order for travel to the United States. We also require that you purchase health insurance to cover you while in the United States, unless you are covered by Manitoba Blue Cross or other additional health insurance plan.

This will be an eye-opening trip for most of us who have little understanding of the severity of the problems faced by the Devil’s Lake area. I’m sure that after the trip you will be well qualified to offer a very informed opinion on the dispute and that you will have a really good background in the history of cross-border water disputes and management issues.

Please see the reservation sheet included in this edition of Time Lines for more details of cost and accommodations. The cost of the trip includes all taxes and gratuities, transportation by air-conditioned, washroom equipped, Grey Goose bus, two nights’ hotel accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Refreshment breaks are also included. Your place on the trip will be confirmed by receipt of payment in full.

Update (7 September 2005):
The MHS Fall field trip has been cancelled due to low attendance.

Researching Furniture Made in Manitoba Before 1870

by Rick Lair and Tim Worth

Following the amalgamation of the North West Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821, the arable land, in what is today southern Manitoba, took on an increasing importance as a means of supporting the profitable fur trade. To this land came those who no longer desired to follow the life of a fur trader and people such as the Selkirk Settlers; people looking for a better way of life. In southern Manitoba the Red River Settlement became one of the busiest settlements.

People who settled along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and their tributaries often brought little more than their clothing and a few household items that could be packed in sturdy trunks. They were however a very resourceful, creating household furnishing, chairs, beds, cupboards, tables and implements to meet their needs. Although there are records that show that some furnishings were making the arduous trip from the Bay posts via the York Boats it wasn’t until the transportation links through St. Paul, to the south, that more formal pieces of furniture made their way to the Red River. This supplemented those vernacular pieces that adept carpenters and joiners created. Today a wide range of “Red River Settlement” furniture is found in the homes of private citizens, churches and museums throughout Manitoba.

At Red River, as in other locations, an issue facing researchers is determining what furniture is made locally and what is made elsewhere. Relying on personal knowledge or experience even trained museum curators often have difficulty in separating one piece from another. So, often it can come down to a donor’s knowledge of the provenience of a given piece. Relying on catalogues and available reference material, to identify what is being offered, can be unwise since so little information has been written on locally made pieces of furniture.

Here in Western Canada antique owners, researchers and museum curators have had to rely on reference material that showed typical examples from the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario or the United States. Such written material as The Early Furniture of Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces by Henry and Barbara Dobson, Nova Scotia Furniture by George McLaren, The Pine Furniture of New England by Russell H. Kettell, Antique Furniture by New Brunswick Craftsmen by Huia G. Ryder or The Heritage of Upper Canadian Furniture by Howard Pain are titles that have been available. However they do not address the need for information pertinent to locally made furniture, its styles and diversity of interpretations. This is about to change. Two local professionals, Rick Lair and Tim Worth, have pooled their talents and interests in furniture to collaborate on conducting research that would see the publication of information that would begin to identify the character of furniture made in Manitoba prior to 1870.

Unique design and details can be linked to the cultural groups that existed during the Red River Settlement era and thus assist with cultural interpretation. A good example is a comparison of the "Manitoba" chair, (Scots - HBC0) and the "babiche" (French-Métis - NW CO). This however is the exception rather than the general rule. Other research tools must be utilized. We hope that this research and the identification of the surviving examples of early Manitoba furniture will underscore its uniqueness and intrinsic value and encourage its preservation. While the researchers already have leads on some excellent examples of furniture we are confident that there are many more examples to be documented. It has already been determined that Ross House Museum in Winnipeg possesses within its collection five pieces of what have been previously identified as “the Manitoba chair”. Others may know it simply as Red River furniture.

Although it appears that little credible research has been done on the subject of Red River furniture, there have been some descriptions of items that are a good place to start. Such is the article that Nancy McGowan wrote “Early Manitoba Furniture”, in the December 1971 edition of Canadian Collector. It relates that “Many of the settlers had their own tools, but among them were also “joiners” who would work as the present day cabinet makers, building cupboards, furniture, and so on for the neighours or for the community… One of these joiners was Angus Polson…” Although many people had been forced to use their own skills to make the furnishings that made pioneer life easier in a relatively short period of time the way in which furniture was being made changed radically.

Other museums may have similar furniture or perhaps the “babiche” (rawhide seated) chair, along with those furniture pieces that are representative of the more formal lifestyle. It isn’t enough to simply identify individual pieces. From a researcher’s perspective it is also important to identify individual furniture-maker construction and decorative characteristics and the stylistic changes in furniture as society evolved. Ideally as the research is conducted it would be best if we can identify the Manitoba furniture-makers. However as the research unfolds there will be many instances where the identity of the maker of the furniture will be unknown and we as researchers will be forced to accept it. Our research will be most effective when the conclusions are based upon a broad range of study material.

We need as many representative examples of Red River Settlement furniture and furnishings as is possible to see, to make the research credible. Any organization or private individuals that believe that they have pieces that would fit into our research are encouraged to contact us. The researchers have included in their working document a privacy policy that will honour anyone’s desire for anonymity. If you would like to inquire about having your personal items included in the research study please write to Tim Worth at # 611 – 555 River Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3L 0E3 or email at tjworth@mts.net.

Rick Lair studied furniture design at Sheridan College School of Design, and then worked as an independent designer-craftsman in New Brunswick where he made furniture, wooden accessory items and stringed musical instruments. He has worked in collections throughout Canada and in the Massey Collection at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. For the past 17 years Rick has been senior furniture conservator for Parks Canada in Winnipeg at the Western Canada Service Centre.

Tim Worth is well known to the Manitoba museum community having worked for the Manitoba Historical Society as Curator of Dalnavert for thirty years. Tim also served the museum community as a member of Council of the Association of Manitoba Museums, a trainer for the Association’s Basic Level Certificate program and in 1995 as chair of the AMM’s Standards Committee introduced the Standards for Manitoba Museums. Since retirement earlier this year Tim has taken on volunteer work with Rick Lair at the Western Canada Service Centre in Winnipeg.

Half-Day Tour: Demolishing our Past

Click here for this feature article.

Historic Census Records Released

The campaign for release of historic census is finally over. In 1998 Statistics Canada raised concerns about the legality of the release of the historic census records. This led to 7 years of investigation, analysis, debate, and discussion over how to permit the use of historic census records in Canada. Historic census records from Statistics Canada are transferred to the Archives as a result of the passage by parliament of Bill S-18 in late June. This bill mandates the full public disclosure of census records 92 years after they were taken, up to 2001.

The Canadian Library and Archives has just posted the 1911 Canadian census online at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/1911/index-e.html. This web site provides all the original census pages but is not searchable by name, only by general location.

MHS Spring Field Trip 2005


Royal Canadian Artillery Museum, CFB Shilo


Royal Canadian Artillery Museum, CFB Shilo


Fort la Reine Museum, Portage la Prairie

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