Manitoba Historical Society
MHS website:



No. 79

This Old


Field Trip

in Manitoba

Local History


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Questions on

Questions on Manitoba History

The Manitoba Historical Society receives numerous inquiries by email on a variety of interesting and obscure topics in Manitoba history. We answer them where we can but, often, the answer is “we don’t know”. We post these questions below in hopes that others may be able to help. Please use the email address associated with each inquiry to correspond directly with the person asking a question.

For help with a question on Manitoba history, send email to We will answer inquiries as soon as possible but, due to the large volume of email received, a response may be delayed.

In a few cases, we have been able to find answers to questions posed to us. Where the answer is thought to be of general interest, we post them here.

Links to: News | Upcoming Events | Questions | Answers



Winnipeg Stampede Spurs, 1913

We found a small toy spur from the Winnipeg stampede, hanging from the rafters of our old home in Starr’s Point, Nova Scotia. If anyone has information about it, please contact us.

Reply to: Kristina Jaques (, 3 June 2014

Gilbert Plains Shave Token

I recently acquired an octagon-shaped metal token that reads on one side "GOOD FOR 1 SHAVE" and on the other "WESLEY ADAMS SHAVING PARLOR MAIN ST GILBERT PLAINS". Does anyone have information on this establishment?

Reply to: Ken Keenan (, 16 January 2014

Ballenden Family

I am researching the branch of the Ballendens who were in Sedgley, Staffordshire, UK in 19th century, who clearly retained many links to Canadian relatives. Dr John McNab Ballenden was the son of the Chief Factor of York Factory, and his nephew was Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne. One of the Sedgley sons, John (b 1847), married Rosa Edith Elwell in 1877. She died in Winnipeg in 1886, but John died back in Sedgley in 1891. Andrew Bannatyne took a great interest in the Winnipeg General Hospital. John was a doctor; a property sale in England in 1879 and liquidation of John’s business in 1881 suggest plans for permanent emigration. I wonder if John Ballenden went out to work in the Winnipeg hospital? Is anything more (accessible online?) known about John and Rosa Ballenden in Canada?

Reply to: Christine Buckley (, 17 August 2013

Marion Family

My great-great-grandfather was Narcisse Marion and his son Louis was my great-grandfather. I wonder if anyone has any pictures of him and his wife and any of his family as I would love to hear from any of his descendants. I have visited St Boniface a few times in the past but unsure if I will be able to make the trip again. I live in Brittany, France the home of the Marions in the 1500/1600s.

Reply to: Rosemary Ross-Marion (, 12 August 2013

Sovereign Phonograph

We have an old phonograph and wood stand that was made by Stanwoods Limited out of Winnipeg. It is called “The Sovereign Phonograph”. Below are some photos:

Sovereign Phonograph

Sovereign Phonograph

Was this a furniture maker out of Winnipeg or is there any information on this? I am looking for an approximate age of the unit, what happen to company, and so on.

Reply to: Mark Dormer (, 14 May 2013

Cavedon, Manitoba ?

I am a new genealogist, living in Umeå, Sweden. My mother-in-law had an uncle, Oskar Ludvig Lidström, born 25 March 1891 in Fredrika, Sweden. I have seen a note that he emigrated to North America in 1913, from Lycksele (Ledningsvall). The same note says that he drowned at Cavedon, Manitoba on 7 July 1916. I cannot find any place in Manitoba called Cavedon. Is there someone who can tell me where this location is? Or is it another place that means?

Reply to: Lajla Lindgren (, 4 May 2013

Winnipeg House Moved to Calgary?

I grew up in Winnipeg and when I was young I remember a large mansion in the Cresentwood area being dismantled brick by brick and moved to Calgary. I cannot remember the name of the home. Can anyone help me?

Reply to: Patrick (, 27 March 2013

Mills in Manitoba

The photo below is of my grandmother sketching a mill in about 1970. I am trying to find the name and location of the mill. I think it was in Manitoba. Does anyone recognize it?

Manitoba Mill 1970

Reply to: Mark Coomber (, 23 February 2013

Ninette Sanatorium School

Does anyone know anything about the school that was run out of the old Ninette Sanatorium for native children in the early 1970s? Do you know who ran the school and who owned the buildings at that time? Indian Affairs employee Walter Cochrane was the man who took the children from the Peguis reserve. These kids did not have tuberculosis but were taken for the sole purpose of attending school.

Reply to: Marie Walker (, 17 January 2013


Richard H. G. BonnycastleA local documentary is investigating Harlequin Romance Novels is looking for any history buffs that have knowledge or interest in any aspect related to the formerly Winnipeg business, Harlequin Enterprises or the company’s founders Richard and Mary Bonnycastle. Specifically, the Winnipeg-based documentary team is looking for someone to recount the local significance of Richard H. G. Bonnycastle to the Winnipeg community as the President of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the first chairman of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, and the first person to serve as Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, as well as numerous positions on Ducks Unlimited.

Reply to: Aaron Zeghers ( or 1-204-470-6053), 17 January 2013

“Old Eliza” of Virden

I am writing an article about “Old Eliza” who was a resident of Virden. Below is a picture that I found of her. Does anyone have any information about her?

Old Eliza of Virden

Reply to: Rick Hayward (, 4 January 2013

Diamond D Ranch

I am curious to know if there was ever a Diamond D Ranch anywhere in Manitoba, perhaps in the 1950s to 1960s.

Reply to: Nacole D'Amico (, 18 December 2012


I believe that I possess the only picture of the now-defunct village of Carnegie, Manitoba. My father Don Johnston farmed just west of its location from 1912 to 1947. I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has memories of this village/area.

Carnegie, Manitoba

Reply to: George Johnston (, 3 December 2012

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Carnegie Cairn (RM of Elton)


I have a document that shows my grandmother, Polusia Kalapaca (Polusia Krupniak) was to go to Greensburg, Manitoba. The approximate date would be November 1911 or 1912. Does anyone know where Greensburg was located?

Reply to: Murnie Michael Kalapaca (, 12 November 2012


Where was Rossmere the pioneer home of Malcolm and Roderick Ross located? I can only find that they were early pioneers in Red river around 1847. The whole area of Rossmere was named after them, or the homestead. But I cannot find where it was. It must have been quite the house to have named it so eloquently.

Reply to: Gordon Groves (, 6 November 2012

Railway to Pine Falls

I am curious as to why the railway line was built to Pine Falls. I had always thought that J. D. McArthur built the railway there because he was building a pulp and paper mill; however, while browsing the MHS website, I was surprised to learn that I was wrong; specifically, it was not McArthur who built the railway, but rather the Canadian National Railway. Can anyone clear this up for me or provide some brief insight as to how this railway line came to be? Alternately, I would also be grateful if you could point me to some some books or other sources that discuss this fascinating part of Manitoban history.

Reply to: Steve Carey (, 5 October 2012

Mixed drinking in Manitoba

I would like to know in what year mixed drinking (that is, men and women drinking together) came into effect in Manitoba pubs. This question was asked in my hotel. I can remember men-only pubs in my time but there were lounges with mixed drinking also. Does anyone know when women were permitted to join men in pubs?

Reply to: Tom Yuill (, 1 October 2012

Postcard of Manitoba town?

I am trying to identify the location of an old prairie town shown in the postcard below. Beside the Ogilvie grain elevator visible at left, the handwritten message talks of a nearby Methodist church and Mr. Brown’s general store. Does anyone have any ideas on where this might be?

Update (18 Sep 2012): Based on responses to the initial posting, it is now believed the postcard may show the village of Wheatland, Manitoba (situated on the CPR line northwest of Brandon). The grain elevator may have been owned by United Grain Growers after Ogilvie. Can anyone verify this location?

Click the postcard for a larger version.

Reply to: Win Boyd (, 25 July 2012

Quelch Street

Does anyone know why and when Quelch Street in Winnipeg became named as such?

[Quelch Street dates from the early days of Winnipeg. The earliest reference to it seems to be an article from the Manitoba Free Press dated 20 September 1888. MHS Webmaster]

Reply to: David Mitchell (, 26 July 2011

Babcock Cement Factory

I am trying to find out anything I can about the town of Babcock, Manitoba.

Babcock was located on the Canadian Northern Railway which ran through the Valley between Roseisle and St. Lupicin, along the escarpment of the Lake Agassiz glacier in South Cemtral Manitoba .Between 1907 and 1924, it was the site of a clay mine and Cement Factory.. Babcock Cement.... The town site was located on the Can. Northern line and consisted of a few houses for managers and workers and several industrial buildings pertaining to the operation of the mine.

I would like to find photos and lists of employees, anything ... about the town of Babcock.

Reply to: Francene Adelman (, 12 May 2011

Fox/Mink Ranches

Do anyone know the names of the fox ranch and the mink ranch that used to be located on the stretch of highway #59 between what is now the weigh scales and the floodway near Bird's Hill, perhaps between 1960 and 1970?. I am researching my past and two of my brothers worked on these ranches. I am searching for a photo for our family geneology.

Reply to: Natalie Schinkel (, 10 February 2011

Architect for St. Boniface College

Do anyone know the name of the architect that designed the original St. Boniface College building? Was it the same architect who designed a similar but only three-storey building with a third floor chapel that used to be on James Speers' farm at the end of Speers Road in the area that is now Southdale? Also, if the answer to the latter is 'yes', does a photo of that building exist?

Reply to: Natalie Schinkel (, 10 February 2011

Radio station at Churchill, 1923-24

My dad was James (Has) Hasbrouck Wilson. He was born to James and Louise and raised in the Ottawa/Hull region. He later joined the Royal Canadian Signal Corps and was sent with a small group of men to build a radio station at or near Churchill around 1923-24. I have several pictures that were taken there during that time. If anyone has knowledge of the men's activities or where I can get some information, I would certainly appreciate it.

Reply to: James H. Wilson Jr. (, 2 February 2011

Last Train at CPR Station

When did the last passenger train use the CPR Station on Higgins Avenue in Winnipeg?

Reply to: Renda R. Rintoul (, 2 February 2011

Keewatin Box Company

I am referring to an area in St. Boniface between Marion and Bertrand and Enfield Cr and Traverse in the area between Safeway and the Bertrand arena. There used to be a railway track running in the vicinity of Goulet Street as well a company called Keewatin Box. Would there be anything on this, and the year Keewatin Box was destroyed?

Reply to: Marcel (, 29 January 2011

Thorkelsson Limited

A friend of mine was doing a junk removal job and found an old wooden box that says “Property off M.S.M Deposit Case 6 – 53”. On the inside of the box it says “Thorkelsson Ltd, Master Box Makers, Winnipeg Canada”. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the company that made the box, or if anyone know what MSM means.

Reply to: Andrew Harvey (, 25 January 2011

Norwegian Grandfather in Manitoba

My grandfather ISAK NILSEN KAASA immigrated to Canada in 1927 and stayed there until 1931 when he returned to Norway. He has now been dead for over 25 years and the family doesn’t know very much about the years in Canada except some stories my mother and uncle know, some pictures (see below) and a little research that I have done myself. What we know is that he arrived in Quebec on 30 April 1927 onboard the Montcalm, a ship with the Canadian Pacific. In the answers given to the Canadian officials upon arrival he says that the destination was Winnipeg. From the same records we can see that many of the people he traveled with had the same destination. We know that he worked somewhere around Winnipeg, but also around Kenora. He was probably other places as well, but that’s the only places we know for certain. We also know that he worked on constructing electric lines and on different farms. My first question is therefore if you know of any construction of electric lines in the area in the late 1920s and was the CPR involved? I’m also wondering if you have any information about these pictures.

Photo A. Streetcar crossing a bridge (possibly in Winnipeg?)

Photo B. Hydroelectric power dam (Pinawa?)

Photo C. Railway station at Clive, Alberta?

Photo D. Railway station. Location?

Photo E. Grain elevator, possibly the Alberta Grain Company. Location?

Photo F. King Edward Hotel, 438 - 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta.

Photo G. Ship on the Great Lakes or the ocean ?

Photo H. Automobiles and Carltin Service Station. Location?

Reply to: Isak Rye-Kittelsen, Norway (, 23 January 2011 (updated 5 August 2015)

George B. Angus

Can anyone give any background information on GEORGE B. ANGUS? He was a contractor in the City of Brandon in 1881-85. Where did he come from? Who was his family? Where did he live? He simply disappears off the radar in 1885.

Reply to: William Tuttosi (, 23 January 2011

Historic Wedding Halls

I am looking for an ‘old world’ looking hall to have my August wedding reception with approximately 120 guests. Is anyone aware of any old buildings/houses surrounding Winnipeg that may let me rent out their facility?

Reply to: Jacqui Noble (, 20 January 2011

VanKirk Gardens

I had a great uncle, RALPH H. VANKIRK, who lived most of his life in Winnipeg. He had a successful business in the city around the 1930s to the 1950. After that, he opened VanKirk Gardens in the city. I was not able to find any information about Uncle Van (as we called him) looking at the historic information about Winnipeg. I remember Uncle Van and Aunt Rene’s annual visits in the early 1950s. Please advise if anyone has any information about the VanKirks.

Reply to: Steve Main, California (, 1 January 2011

Manitoba Rangers in Brandon

I am interested in my grandfather's service in the First World War with the Manitoba Rangers, 45th Battalion. Can anyone suggest how to find any newspaper stories written about the 45th or any museum in Manitoba that would likely have some reason to specialize in the history of the 45th? They recruited in Brandon. My grandfather's name was SAMUEL HILL. I am not sure when he arrived in Manitoba. Would he be listed in the phone book? I am pretty sure that he arrived in Manitoba no sooner than 1911. Where in Brandon did the Rangers do the recruiting?

Reply to: Douglas Allen Fee (, 27 December 2010

St. Matthews Church, Winnipeg

My mother was born in Winnipeg on 5 February 1915. Her parents were architect/draughtsman FRANCES HAROLD FOSTER and ETHEL MICKLE, my grandparents. I believe that my grandparents were married in St. Matthews Church, Winnipeg on 15 June 1912. They returned to England around 1916 for my grandfather to fight in the First World War. I was wondering if there were any pictures available of the church from this period, and note from the MHS web site that it was re-built in 1913?

Reply to: Andy Worrall (, 20 December 2010

Alternative Vote in Manitoba

I am a student of Canadian and Quebec politics and I have been told that Manitoba used to have a different voting system called the Alternative Vote. When was this system in use for provincial elections? Is it still in use today?

Reply to: Luc Bertrand (, 9 December 2010

William Stephenson and Radio

I am researching the British company—General Radio Company—which produced wireless apparatus in the 1920s in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by William Stephenson, who found fame in later life for his intelligence work for the allies during the Second World War. Stephenson emigrated from Canada shortly after the first war and was apparently drawn to the UK by the prospect of a public broadcasting service, similar to the pioneering station in his home of Winnipeg. We know that he set up “General Radio Company of Canada” in Toronto 1923, with the intent of distributing wireless receivers across Canada, but have very little information on this enterprise. Since Stephenson was born in Winnipeg and educated at the University of Manitoba, I am wondering if anyone has anything at all that might shed some light on his wireless interests in Canada?

Reply to: Dr. Ian L. Sanders (, 30 November 2010

Red River Ferries

I have a handwritten history from my husband’s mother stating that her father, JAMES ERVIN (or ERVINE) SMITH worked on the Red River ferries between Canada and the US sometime in the late 1800s. From my research I did find him on the 1881 census at Portage la Prairie as a farmer, so he would have worked on the ferries prior to 1881. Are there any records I can research to find history of the Red River ferries and perhaps those who were workers on them?

Reply to: Kathy Jones (, 27 November 2010

Travel Time to Emerson, 1910

How long would a passenger train take to go between Emerson and Winnipeg in 1910?

Reply to: Cheryl Foggo (, 26 November 2010

Manitoba Telephone System Stamp

I am a collector of ice hockey stamps, cards and stickers. I have a copy of a “stamp” (see below) that shows a goalie wearing a Monarch’s jersey and the logo of the Manitoba Telephone System. Any information as to when this stamp was issued, why it was issued, who issued it, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Reply to: Peter Laimins (, 21 November 2010

St. Mary's la Prairie School Reunion

In July 2011, I and former classmates of St. Mary’s la Prairie School, 1954-1955, Portage la Prairie, are holding a class reunion. This will be our second and last. I am working on a sort of montage of events, news, memorabilia, and current events from that period. I am honing in on the cost of living (food, gasoline, cars, homes, etc.). Can anyone help direct my searches?

Reply to: William Taylor, Brandon (, 3 November 2010

Shepherd Family in Winnipeg

I am looking for the following information on family members: EDITH SARAH SHEPHERD born 1879, England travelled to Canada on 18 May 1929 with one of her daughters, EDNA EDITH SHEPHERD born 1896, Cricklewood, Middlesex, England. On the ships manifest/passenger list their address was listed as 445 Bannerman Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have been unable to locate any information on this address in the 1911 census records thus far. If I could find out who lived in the house in 1911, I might be able to know who they were potentially going to visit/reside with.

Another daughter, MURIAL WINNIFRED SHEPHERD (born 1897 Cricklewood, MDX, Englad) travelled by ship in 1928 (one year prior to her mother and sister departing from Southampton, England). Murial’s passenger list/manifest indicates that she too was headed to 445 Bannerman Avenue, Winnipeg to visit/reside with friend J. Reeves who was listed at that address on the ships passenger list/manifest. Perhaps J. Reeves was the individual residing at 445 Bannerman Ave in 1928? I reside in Ontario and am unable to travel. Can anyone find out if 445 Bannerman was a valid address in 1928? Can anyone locate a marriage or death record for Edith Sarah Shepherd born 1879, MDX, England? Can anyone locate a marriage or death record for either Edna Edith Shepherd after 1929 or a marriage cert/death certificate for her sister, Murial Winnifred Shepherd after 1928?

Reply to: Cynthia Jones (, 24 October 2010

First Streets in Transcona

I wrote and recorded the song Transcona that was played at its Welcome Home Festival in 2010. I used to live in Transcona as a child so I remember the town fondly. I am writing a new song for its 100th anniversary in 2012. This song is going to be a bit more of a historical perspective as opposed to my first song which was more from my own point of view from having lived in Transcona. But my question is what was the first street in Transcona? Or more over, what were the first two streets that made the first intersection in 1908 or 1909 or whenever the first roads were created? I want to make that intersection the focal point of my chorus for the song.

Reply to: Paul Schram (, 19 October 2010

Banfield's Furniture Store

I have an antique dining room suite which I know to be at least 80 years old, as my mother remembers my grandparents buying it at a yard sale around 1930. There is a tag on one of the support pieces for the legs which indicates it was sold by Banfield’s Furniture Company to a lady in Saskatoon. However, there is no date on the tag to help me date the set. I see from information elsewhere on the MHS site that Armine Frederick Banfield established a furniture store (on Main Street, Winnipeg, according to the tag) around 1893. Would anyone be able to tell me how long the store was in operation? That might help me to narrow down the age of the set. Can anyone suggest any other resources I might be able to contact in order to help me in my search? One possibility might be the names of any companies in the Manitoba area which might have produced the set. That is a bit of a stretch, I know, as the set might have been produced anywhere.

Reply to: Glenn Scott (, 7 October 2010

Winnipeg Dairies

Can someone help me find information about my grandfather, DONALD R. GILLESPIE, who, according to Henderson's Directories, ran the Riverside Dairy in 1883 and the North West Dairy in 1888, both in Winnipeg?

Reply to: Sylvia Gillespie Connor (, 29 September 2010

Selkirk Fisheries Building

I bought a house in St. Andrews just under six years ago and on the property is the old Selkirk Fisheries building. The building is about 2000 square feet and is made of solid fur planks. We would like to restore the building to what it used to look like when it was in use on the docks. I am wondering if anyone has pictures of what the building used to look like? I am also looking for information as to when it was built and during what years it was used.

Reply to: Oriana Reichart (, 27 September 2010

Edward Hewins of Portage la Prairie

My uncle Edward Hewins emigrated to Canada in 1913. I understand he had a position with the Anglican church in Portage la Prairie, but know little else about him. I would love to know what kind of man he was and any other details.

Reply to: David Clifford (, 23 September 2010

Donald Mann of Binscarth

I am trying to find out as much information as I can about DONALD MANN. I met him when both of us worked on a Hydro Electric Project in Glen Affric Scotland in 1948-50. He was instrumental in helping me find work in Canada when I emigrated here in 1951. Donald returned to Canada in about 1953, to Winnipeg then back to Binsgarth where he originally began his blacksmithing business. He is buried in a small cemetery between Russell and Binsgarth. Can you give me any more information about this fine man, pictures or text?

Reply to: Denny Lalonde (, 19 September 2010

Brandon Railway Overpass

We cannot seem to find out about the original bridge that was built over the railroad tracks on 18th Avenue in Brandon, now called the Daly Overpass. When was the first bridge built and when was the second built?

Reply to: Laura Potter (, 12 September 2010

Gretna Border Crossing

I am interested in getting some information about the border crossing at Gretna, Manitoba—specifically about 1910 when my grandparents came through on their way to Scott, Saskatchewan (from Iowa). Any information on the route they would have taken, names of railways, routines of the border crossing, “customs” regulation, if any, facts, figures, maps, anecdotes—I am trying to understand what their experience would have been like.

Reply to: Sharon (, 8 September 2010

Partaker Family of Neepawa

I am the great-great-grandson of Peter James who emigrated to Canada in 1886. His wife Ellen had children by a previous marriage but one of their “joint” children was born in Canada - in 1890 - Rose Ellen James who later married Carl Martin Partaker in 1912. I believed they settled in Neepawa and in fact, both are buried in Riverside Cemetery. They had four children, all of whom are deceased. I have details of their children but do not know much about where they actually lived, what they did, etc. Can anyone please enlighten me on this?

Reply to: Colin Jones (, 8 September 2010

Lutheran Immigration Board

I searched the Internet for a missing loved one. He emigrated to Canada in 1930 via Danzig. His name was Teodor Ponto. Under, I have found some of his data. He arrived on 03/30/1930 in St. John on the Montclare from Southampton. The address in Canada to which he was going was given as: Lutheran Immigration Board, 460 or 160 Main Street, Winnipeg. I cannot find anything about this organisation. Can you help me to find anything about it and what happened to him and if relatives are living or where I can continue to search?

Reply to: Birgitt Mingen (, 2 September 2010

Winter Park at Redwood and Main

I have been looking for pictures of a winter park that I think was part of Drewry’s or Carling O’Keefe at Redwood and Main in Winnipeg. It was located on the corner across from what is now the Holy Family Nursing Home. My husband and I remember it as a lot of ice walls, lights and nursery rhyme themes. I particularly remember Humpty Dumpty as well as the Three Men in a Tub. The figures I think were animated. Does anyone remember this? It is such a fond memory I wish I had photos of it. Perhaps it had a name. Hope you can help.

Reply to: Jan Hasiuk (, 28 August 2010

Halfway House Museum

I recently received from my aunt’s estate a set of cream and sugar pottery. It is marked “Half Way House Museum, Hargrave, Man”. I cannot find any mention of this museum on the Internet, which suggests that it is no more. Does anyone know?

Was there a Half Way House Museum in Hargrave, Manitoba?

Reply to: Judith Eisenbise (, 26 August 2010

Update: We have learned that the Half Way House Museum was situated in a small house on the main street in Hargrave, next to the local grocery store. Neither building is believed to exist now. The store was owned by a Mr Page and he opened the museum as an offshoot to his grocery business. It is not known when the museum operated, or when it closed. (11 February 2011)

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Half-Way House Museum (Hargrave, RM of Wallace)

Fleming Block in Brandon

Darren Graham, a family researcher in Sarnia, Ontario, has tracked his great-grandfather, George Nathan Graham to Brandon, Manitoba where he worked as a brakeman on the Grand Trunk Railway. At the time of the 1911 census, Graham was living at #7 Fleming Block but this building does not appear to exist today. Can anyone help to determine where the Fleming Block was located in Brandon?

Reply to: Darren Graham (, 25 August 2010

History of Franco-Manitobans

I am very interested in the issue of French-speaking Canada (outside of Quebec). I understand that in Manitoba there is a vibrant community of Franco-Manitobans centered primarily in St-Boniface. I am having difficulty finding books (in French or English) dealing with the history of Franco-Manitobans and the impacts that they may have had in Manitoba. Any leads you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Reply to: Noel Corriveau (, 18 August 2010

Smith’s Art House

I am trying to find some information on a business called Smith’s Art House at 1845 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. Any help?

Reply to: Alda Stone (, 15 August 2010

Health food store on Graham

As a young child I visited Winnipeg in the mid 1960s. I remember my mother taking me to what I think was a health food business selling vitamins and what we now call supplements in the lower floor (one had to go downstairs from street level) of a building on the south side of Graham Avenue (closer to The Bay than Eatons). Was there a health food store in that location? What was it called? Who were the owners? I think we may have been related and that was why my mother took me there.

Reply to: Marcy Palay (, 14 August 2010

Electric Railway pin

I was metal detecting the other day down the river in Churchilll Park [Winnipeg] and I located what looks to be a metal plaque that used to sit on a street car conductors hat. I attached the picture and I am wondering if anyone could give me some information on the history of the piece. Possible value?

Reply to: Michael Serreti (, 13 August 2010

Wilsons in Manitoba ?

Can you help finding the descendants of the family of the Hon. David Wilson (New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada from 1944 to 1947)? He had a brother called Robert Wilson who was a wheat farmer in Manitoba, and another brother called Andrew Wilson in New York. The three brothers were born in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1880s.

David Wilson was my father’s uncle by marriage, and some years ago I was given all his family’s cine films, photographs and slides which I would very much like to pass on to any Wilson descendants in Manitoba. Neither of David Wilson’s children Edna and Andrew Wilson married, hence I am looking after the photos, etc. Born in 1880, David Wilson lived to be 97, and died in 1977. He had a fine career in the Labour party in New Zealand, and helped to found the Labour party in the UK before he left for New Zealand, where he and his wife Rosa and children Andrew and Edna made their home.

The Hon. David Wilson, New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada, 1944 to 1947

David’s son Andrew Wilson and friend in Canada


Edna Wilson in the living room at the residence, August 1945


The residence. Additions for more offices were built on top of one-storey piece almost hidden by pine trees

Andrew Wilson, (brother of David Wilson), and Mrs. Nell Wilson in New York, April 1944. The Hon David Wilson on his way to Ottawa


Reply to: Mrs. J. M. Stubley (, 16 May 2010


I would like to know why the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam was named for the Fourth Earl of Clanwilliam? I note that it was incorporated two years after the post office was established. At that time the settlers had requested the name of Lamontaine but Clanwilliam was substituted, I think at Ottawa. I am wondering if the name selection might provide a window into the politics and methods of the day. Prime Minister Macdonald may have been trying to dodge an imperial defence question. Lorne the Governor-General was quite keen on it, and Clanwilliam’s brother was senior in the Colonial Office. In 1881 Canada was acquiring HMS Charybdis, but she came from the China Station, not Clanwilliam’s squadron. John O’Connor, Macdonald’s Postmaster General, was a leader of Ontario Irish, and strong on patronage. In the summer of 1881, Macdonald was in London, and through the Marquis of Lansdowne met a number of large Irish landowners to discuss immigration. Clanwilliam hauled down his flag in command of the Detached Service Squadron on promotion to vice admiral in July 1881. It is possible that he could have been there. But the name Clanwilliam does not show up in Alexander Begg’s History of the Northwest, or any of the standard secondary sources.

Reply to: William Glover (, 3 March 2010

Vulcan Iron Works

I am an engineering student at the University of Regina. I am working on a project in which I am upgrading a boiler room that contains two Vulcan Boilers from the late 1940s. I was wondering if there are any archives for this company, as all engineering papers and drawings for these boilers have been lost and the Vulcan Iron Works is no longer in operation.

Reply to: Amy Schneider (, 1 March 2010

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