Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

New book:
54 West Gate, Stories of Ralph Connor House

A new book celebrates the May 2005 designation of 54 West Gate (Ralph Connor House) in Winnipeg as a Provincial Heritage Site. Spanning the years from 1860 to 2004, the book is a truly Canadian story about a magnificent house on the Assiniboine River in the historic neighbourhood of Armstrong’s Point.

The house has sheltered two families. The Rev. Charles W. Gordon (pen name Ralph Connor) and his wife Helen and their seven children lived there first. The Ralph Connor novels financed the building of this home. Rev. Gordon was a social activist, chaplain to the Canadian Forces in World War I, confidante of Prime Ministers and Presidents, and influential in the formation of the United Church of Canada. He was granted the title of Person of National Significance in 1948 by the Canadian government. His obituary in the Nov. 1, 1937 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press started on the front page and continued through several more pages.

C. W. Gordon
Source: University of Manitoba Archives of Special Collections,
C. W. Gordon Papers

One of Reverend Gordon's many popular books

After Gordon's death, the house was saved from demolition by the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg which has cared for it ever since.

Members of the Heritage House Conservation Committee have researched extensively, compiled and written some of their stories for this new book. There is something for everyone no matter where they live; especially those interested in architecture, social history, women’s issues, stories of laughter mixed with a few tears and our own unique corner in Canada’s heritage. The book is 221 pages, lavishly illustrated with timeline, sidebars and appendices, is a great memento for someone who had a reception at 54 West Gate or has other special memories of Ralph Connor House. All proceeds are for the preservation of this historic home.

The book is available directly from Friends of Ralph Connor House, Inc. at 54 West Gate, Winnipeg, R3C 2E1 for $25 if picked up in person during weekday business hours (9:30 to 4:00) or by mail for an extra $4 for shipping and handling. Cheques should be payable to "Friends of Ralph Connor House." The book is also available from McNally Robinson Booksellers. The group is also interested in making mutually agreeable arrangements with booksellers, gift shops, tea rooms, and museum shops.

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