Day 78 – August 23 – Winkler, MB to Boissevain, MB

It is 188 km (118 miles) via Highway 3 from Winkler to Boissevain so we knew we had time to do an Adventure Lab in Morden before we left. Adventure Labs are a new element of geogcaching that take you to several places in a community or countryside where you find the answer to a question about what you have come to see. The Lab in Morden took us to see five of their old brick or stone buildings.

The old post office. Built between 1913 and 1915.

The Morden Court House was built 1905 on nine acres that the Manitoba government purchased for a court house and gaol. It opened in 1906 and Morden became the seat for the Southern Judicial District. There were cells in the basement as well as an apartment for the resident caretaker.

This is a Queen Anne style of architecture. The house was built in 1894 for a pioneer grain merchant. The brick was manufactured locally. It was designated a municipal historic site in 1995 and has been carefully restored.

This was my favourite. Another Queen Anne style. Built in 1899 for Morden’s first medical practitioner who arrived in 1884.

I couldn’t get a photo of the last house. It was too close to the road with too many trees. The one below is also quite hidden by trees. It was across the street from the house above and equally as nice. It may be a B & B.

So, it was after 11 before we left Morden and embarked on our tour through several little communities on the way to Boissevain.

We stopped in Manitou to see the information about Canadian women’s rights activist and author Nellie McClung. We had hoped to see the houses she lived in to learn more about her, but they were all closed.

Coming from BC as we do, this is not an exciting image. But in Manitoba where so much of the land is flat this forested, winding downhill stretch of road into La Riviére and Oak Valley is quite novel. Actually this part of southern Manitoba is dotted with gullies, and gulches, and small hills and lakes.

La Riviére is home to Holiday Mountain Ski Resort. These are the runs. They even have a chair lift.

The Resort complex is the red-roofed A-frame cottages.

As long as we are on the prairies there are going to be pictures of fields and big sky. I love the wide open spaces.

The mound was also a directional marker for early fur traders, explorers, and settlers.

Killarney is so named because the lake here reminded one of the early settlers of the Kerry Lake district back in Ireland. And the town has embraced it’s Irish link wholeheartedly. Even the fire trucks are green! Many street names and businesses have Irish Names. And in Erin Park on the shores of Killarney Lake you will even find a “Blarney Stone.”

We arrived in Boissevain at 4 and spent a half hour doing another Adventure Lab that took us to some of the 15 murals around town. Murals seem to be a recurring theme in a lot of places, but they are usually very well done.

Boissevain was on the Northwest Mounted Police Boundary Commission route. This mural shows Commissioner George Arthur French leading the first troop across Western Canada in 1874. The Northwest Mounted later became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The little boy on the left is listening to the stories about his great-grandfather Commissioner French and is so fascinated he becomes an RCMP office when he grows up – as depicted by the Mountie on the right.

This mural depicts the first locomotive to arrive in Cherry Creek around 1886 as a result of Adolphe Boissevain (portrait on the right) selling shares in Europe to raise the funds. The town was later renamed in his honor.

Any murals on the walls of Canadian Legions rightly commemorate the huge sacrifices made for our freedom by so many men and women. And rightly so. They should never be forgotten.

Our hotel is across the street from Tommy the turtle. He waves both a Canadian and a US flag because the American border is only 25 km south of here. The Boissenvain, Manitoba – Dunheith, North Dakota border crossing is adjacent to the International Peace Garden that spans the border into both countries. It was established in 1932 not long after the border crossing was opened. We toured the Peace Garden when we did our 17 States road trip in 2017.Tomorrow we drive north about 73 km to Brandon. Along the way we will stop in Souris to find my mother’s foster parent’s graves. We spend two nights in Brandon and then drive west again into Saskatchewan to do some touring about the southern small towns of that province.

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