Discovering Manitoba

Did You Know - Central Plains?

Assiniboine River – The Assiniboine River, chief tributary of the Red River, which it joins in the City of Winnipeg, takes its name from the Assiniboine Indians through whose hunting grounds it flowed. The river rises in the Province of Saskatchewan and is approximately 600 miles in length. A number of trading posts were established along its banks by the North West, XY and Hudson’s Bay companies, and on its waters plied canoes, York boats, and stern wheel steamers. The first post along its banks was built in 1738 by French explorer La Verendrye on his first journey west, who called it the St. Charles River.

Assiniboine Trail – The Assiniboine Trail has been re-named several times. It was the beginning of the Carleton Trail; the longest trail being some nine hundred miles from the Forks, to Upper Fort des Prairies at Edmonton. Later it was known as the Great Highway according to an 1874 map, then part of the Trans- Canada Highway. Currently it is designated as Provincial Trunk Highway 26 - The Assiniboine Trail.    

Austin – “Big Roy” the world’s biggest tractor, is an 8-wheel drive, 500 hp Versatile. Located at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin, it is the only one of its kind in exisitence.

Bagot – Peter Tarr, originally from Ontario, owned the first John Deere tractor in Western Canada. It was a Model D with spoke flywheel and wooden  platform, 60 years older than the Model D in the photo. Mr. Tarr’s tractor was purchased in the early 1920s, from a dealer in MacGregor, and came on a flat car on the CNR to Rossendale.

Beaver – The community of Beaver was named circa 1876 by Mrs. Young, whose home was the first house in the district built of logs. She named the community in recognition of the many beaver dams found in the creek

Benard – Benard, a village near Elie, had every chance of becoming a metropolis. Unfortunately, the lack of a reliable source of water did not allow the proposed rail yard to be constructed

Cypress River – The fist written record of a European crossing the Cypress River is in Alexander Henry’s diary of August 11, 1806, when he records crossing it in his journey. Built in the late 1880s, the Union Hotel at Cypress River was advertised as the “best Temperance Hotel in the West.” Since 1922, the building has served as a grocery store. Prior to 1877, the political boundary of the Province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories was formed along an imaginary line eight miles west of Gladstone and at a point one mile east of Cypress River.

Delta Marsh – A world-renowned attractions, Delta Marsh is one of the largest and most famous freshwater marshes in the world. Consisting of 54,000 acres, there can be found large numbers and species of birds. A total of 297 species of birds has been recorded in the marsh area. Roughly 10,000 songbirds were banded here during the summer of 1996, at the Delta Marsh Bird Observatory, one of the busiest bird banding stations in Canada. During spring and fall migrations, Delta Marsh becomes a birder’s paradise. Large numbers of warblers, sparrows, and other songbirds, as well as tundra swans join migrating geese and ducks.

Flee Island – The eastern Dakota (Sioux) of Minnesota traditionally built “cunkaské” (pronounced choonkashkay)—wooden palisades, piles of stones and earthen entrenchments— around their camps and villages for protection against elements, wild animals, and potential enemies. One group was even referred to as the “Cunkaskétonwan,” Nation of the Forts. In the summer of 1862, many Dakota openly rebelled against the intolerable treatment they had received from American authorities.As a result, several hundred Dakota refugees moved north to the relative safety of the Red River Settlement. In the spring of 1864, following an attack by Chippewa (Anishinabe)bounty hunters from Minnesota, the Dakota constructed fortified camps in the Portage la Prairie district. Each camp was enclosed by a circular trench and embankment behind which armed defenders could position themselves. Inside this circle was a ring of pits where the women and children could take refuge in the event of an attack. The Flee Island Entrenchment is nearly circular with a diameter of 73 metres. It is not quite continuous, however, as the eastern portion has been incorporated into the adjacent field. Depth of the intact trench varies from 0.3 to 1.0 metres, and there was a semi-continuous bank of earth on the outside. A number of deep, circular pits are also located on the inside, close to the trench.

Gladstone – Gladstone was first settled in 1872 with the area then known as Palestine. It was later named for Great Britain Prime Minister William E. Gladstone. In 1938, the Big Grass Marsh was the first Ducks Unlimited project in Canada. It is now being developed as Big Roy. the Jackfish Lake Nature Site.

Explore More