The Region

Cardinal was established as a village in 1905, but the region was settled well before that. Here is a brief look at the neighbourhood.

Cardinal was the home of the Ojibwe, and is on Treaty 1 Territory.

Visit our Regional Tour Page....

View our Archive of Maps of the Region

N49.47980   A98.78053

A small cemetery located about 12 kilometres west of Cardinal is the only landmark remaining of the village of Norquay,  Charles Holland and Thomas H. Pentland selected the site based upon on rumours that a railway would pass through the area. It was named for former Manitoba Premier John Norquay.

It was one of many communities that disappeared when the arrival of railway lines created new villages.

Although some distance from Cardinal, the site is noted here because it was the first village in the general region.

For a more complete history visit:


Numerous pre-railroad communities began as a post office. Some, like Beaconsfield, would have a few commercial services. E.J. Folkes operated a saw and shingle mill. James Gorrie was the blacksmith. Most of these communities never became villages, as we know them, with streets and storefronts. The original settlements may have disappeared from the maps, but they retained their identity as communities. 

Beaconsfield United Church (November 2016)
Source: Neil Christoffersen

N49.50203, W98.70472

The Beaconsfield Church was built in 1903 & 1904.
Presbyterian and Methodist services were held here. Rev. H.SA. Barton was the Methodist Minister. The Episcopal Church held services on alternate Sundays.

It became a Methodist church in 1910 and Beaconsfield United Church in 1925. Regular services were discontinued in 1955.

Beaconsfield United Cemetery (July 2022)
Source: Ken Storie

The earliest burial in the cemetery occurred in 1883.

A Military commemorative monument is also on the site

A monument on the grounds was dedicated in June 1921. 

This map from 1887 shows both Norguay and Beaconsfield.  The symbols indicate that Norquay had a school, post office and gristmill.  Beconsfield had a school and post office. Note that Notre Dame and Cardinal don't yet exist and Somerset was just a post office.

Norguay and Beaconsfield are still on the map in 1893, but their businesses have closed and Notre Dame has appeared.

In 1897 Norquay is still on the map. The post office, school and neighbourhood Anglican Church were still in use.

By 1907 Norquay had faded away as the rail lines had created new towns. The post office closed in 1905.

Notre Dame des Lourdes

The Cardinal area was part of the Notre Dame De Lourdes Parish.

The first settlers, from Quebec, arrived in the 1880s. The village was established in 1891.  

The post office was established in 1892 on 36-6-9W. Father Dom Benoît became the parish's first priest after arriving with French and Swiss immigrants. He also established a seminary of the Canons Regulaires with about 30 students but changes to the rules from Rome caused its dissolution.

The railway from Stephenfield to Somerset established Cardinal in 1905, and a CNR line was added connecting Nortre Dame in 1912.

St. Lupicin

The first settlers came from France in 1891. A school called Faure was built in 1898. Catholic services were held in homes near the school and a Chapel was built in 1908. A post office on SE 1/4 Sec. 9, Twp. 6, was opened in 1923

The Region in 1920


Commercial Cement At Babcock

Babcock got its name from the man who owned land. The Commercial Cement Co. began operating in 1907 and closed down in 1924. The material from which the cement was made was taken from deep in the hill south of the railway, and was hauled out on horse-drawn carts on the miles of rails which were laid in the mine.

It was large operation that, at its peak, employed fifty people. When the plant closed the station soon closed and buildings were moved away.