Welcome to the Minnedosa District Museum and Heritage Village. We are a pioneer village featuring 9 restored heritage buildings which are furnished with period artifacts from days gone by, water wheel, trout pond and windmill. Our operating season begins July 1st and runs until Labour Day from 11:00am-5:00pm daily (204-867-3542), however, the Village is available for tours by appointment year round. During the off season, contact 867-3816 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Daily admission is $8.00/adult, $3.00/youth or $20.00 for a family. Seasonal family or individual can now be purchased.
The Minnedosa Museum and Heritage Village is located 4 blocks east of Main Street on 3rd Avenue N.E.
Agricultural Display Building – Octagon Building
The unique octagon shaped building is a treasure to the Heritage Village. This historic display building is one of only three left in Manitoba and was donated to the village by the local Agricultural Society for restoration.
After sitting on a loose stone foundation at the Minnedosa Agricultural Grounds for over one hundred years, the building was in dire need of repair to save it from collapsing in on itself. The building has been saved and has been restored back to its former glory. New cedar shakes have been installed on the roof, and windows have been installed in the old window openings that were closed in back in the 1940’s or 1950’s. The exterior restoration was completed in 2008, interior and landscaping in 2009.
The octagon display building has been designated a heritage site and is a gem of the Heritage Village.
The Cadurcis House was moved from the Cadurcis district (west of Minnedosa) to the Heritage Village in 1999 and completely restored to a comfortable, cozy, family home. It was newly painted in 2012. It is furnished with period pieces and is a definite must see!
The original part of this house was built around 1910, with latest additions constructed about 1915. The farm was bought by the Dickie family in 1917, with water works and an electric Delco plant installed at that time. Frank and Christie Dickie lived there from their marriage in 1921 until 1945. The farm was then sold to Laurie and Jenny Thierry.
The house features 3 bedrooms upstairs and a 2nd floor balcony off the master bedroom providing a view of the Little Saskatchewan River, nature trails and bison compound. There is a traditional open-air covered front porch. The 1st floor of the house includes a closed-in porch, large kitchen with stove and fainting couch, kitchen pantry, dining room and parlour. Other features include hardwood floors, leaded glass windows with character exterior and interior “gingerbread” & “filligrade”. It has a heritage designation.
Havelock School 1910
The Havelock School takes visitors back to days of multi-grade classrooms – a one room school house, complete with desks, books, maps, etc. A large wood stove heated the schoolhouse at the time. Many Christmas concerts and recitals took place in the schoolhouse – it was the hub of a rural community district.
Havelock School District was organized in 1909-10 because of the increase in the population in the area a few miles south of Minnedosa, where a large number of Swedish families and other nationalities had recently settled. The school was built in 1910 at a cost of $1650 and opened for classes in April 1911. The school was located 3 miles south of Minnedosa on the west side of what is now Provincial Road 262. Because of the vote for a larger school district the school was closed in 1966.
Mrs. Vint was the last teacher to have the assignment at the Havelock school. Three generations of students had attended the school since 1910. The school was sold to the Minnedosa Museum for $1.00 and, in 1967, was moved into town and located beside the original cinder block Museum on 2nd Ave. N.W. (beside the Masonic Hall). The old school remained on that site until September 22, 1997, when it was moved by Minty Movers, to the site of the newly formed Heritage Village, where it was put onto a new cement foundation.
The school and it’s contents represent the early years of the 1900’s classroom. It’s shelves and cupboards contain records from the many schools that were part of the surrounding district’s history.
It is open to the public approximately 8 weeks a year, from July 1st to the September long weekend, and at other times by appointment. Country schools no longer exist but having the original Havelock School located and maintained in our Heritage Village will help to preserve our history and memories of a time gone by.
Heritage Village Trout Pond
Located by Heritage Village. Stocked in the spring with 8 inch fish. Catch and Release until August 15th – after that you can keep one or two. Same regulations apply as for lake fishing: licensing, etc. Great for children – they don’t need a license.
November 4, 1904 – June 27, 1993
The original location of the Hunterville Church was at the junction of #10 and #24 highways, four miles east of Rapid City. The church was built on an acre of land donated by Mrs. W. Hunter thus the name Hunterville.
It was built in 1904 and opened for services on November 4, 1904 as a Presbyterian Church. Services were held in the homes of the pioneers previous to the opening of the new church. Mr. George Grant donated a beautiful Communion Set. The first wedding in Hunterville Church, Grace McNaughton and George Grant, took place on Tuesday March 22, 1906.
In 1925 Hunterville Presbyterian Church joined the United Church of Canada. The idea of a wider parish was introduced in 1969. Hunterville became part of this reorganization, which by 1973 included Minnedosa, Clanwilliam, Justice, Rapid City, Basswood and Cadurcis. Two ministers shared the duties. After 89 years of service and devotion to the community, the church was closed June 27, 1993.
Upon learning that the Hunterville congregation was willing to donate their Church Building to the Minnedosa Heritage Village, negotiations began with the officials of the church. In December 1996 Hunterville Church was moved to its new location by Kola Movers, in what was to become the Minnedosa Heritage Village. Moving costs were $12,242.40. The church was shingled with new cedar shingles in April, 2002 at a cost of $4,606.92, rewired in November, 2002 and the interior was painted in May, 2003.
Newly painted in the historically correct yellow in 2011, the church is a beautiful building. At least once a year, a church service is held, and there have been at least three wedding ceremonies held in the church since it has been moved to Minnedosa. We received the church and all its contents just as the former congregation left it and it is available to be used for weddings, church services, etc., fully equipped.
Manitoba Electrical Power Plant & Minnedosa Hydro Building
Electrical power was introduced to Minnedosa in various ways and at different times between 1902 and 1913. Finally in 1912 the building of a dam was completed across the Little Saskatchewan River Valley with a spillway 16 feet long at the east end. Soon after, a lake became a reality. A flume was constructed to carry water from the lake to the power house below the dam and on June 2, 1912 (another source says June 2, 1913), the Hydro plant started operation.
By 1919, power demand outgrew production at the plant. Due to the growing demand for power, the Town of Minnedosa applied for assistance from Manitoba Power Commission and on July 24th, 1920 M.P.C. acquired the existing power plant and installed two diesel units to supplement the previous plant capacity. Manitoba Power Commission also replaced the old wooden power house with a stone and brick structure that we are using today as our museum. Manitoba Power Commission continued to operate the plant until 1930, when a new 33,000 volt transmission line was completed between Minnedosa and Brandon. The local plant was phased out in 1933, but continued on standby use until 1944.
A Few Facts
1912 – The dam was completed and Minnedosa Lake was formed.
1920 – The Minnedosa hydro plant was the second plant constructed in Manitoba.
May 4, 1948 – The dam collapsed at the spillway and the lower part of the town was inundated by a wall of water.
1951 – A new spillway was in place and water flowing.
1980 – The hydro building and surrounding property was turned over to the Town of Minnedosa for recreation purposes by Manitoba Hydro.
The idea for a museum for Minnedosa and surrounding area had been talked about, starting around 1958, when Minnedosa celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary. Mrs. Ed Brown set up a temporary museum display for that occasion, which set the wheels in motion. A committee was set up later to establish a community sponsored museum. All went well, money was collected, and in 1962 a white cinder block building was built on 2nd Avenue NW to house a museum. During the summer of 1963 Premier Duff Roblin officially opened the new museum. This building was the home of the Minnedosa Museum until May of 1995. By that time, the collectibles had outgrown the space required to properly display them and visions emerged of a Heritage Village down by the river. The Town of Minnedosa had been given ownership of the former Hydro Building and property in 1980. This building was designated a Heritage Building in 1993, and in 1995, a decision was made, spearheaded by Mr. Lem Shuttleworth, to move the contents of the original museum, to the old Hydro Building.
After much cleaning and renovating, the Hydro Building was ready to receive the artifacts, etc. On July 2, 1995, the official opening of the new museum took place. This move to a new location was the beginning of what has become known as the Minnedosa Heritage Village.
Roy Munro’s Blacksmith Shop
During the Christmas holidays in 1935, the two room school at Crocus Hill burned down. As a result of the fire, this building was erected, and used as a temporary school house from January to June 1936. In November of 1936 the building was purchased by Mr. Roy Munro and was moved from the Crocus Hill site to Roy’s farm to be used as a blacksmith shop.
The 16 x 24 foot structure was skidded approximately 2.5 miles by a team of horses. Roy then moved all his shop equipment from his small old blacksmith shop into this building which he faithfully used until 1986. His retirement was forced by ill health. His was a total of 50 years of dedicated service to his community. Roy donated this shop fully equipped to the Minnedosa Agricultural Society before he passed away in 1989.
A note of interest – some of the pupils attending Crocus Hill School during this period of time included Roy’s younger brother Darcy, Ethel Erven, Walter and Wendell Johnson, Ed and Lauchie Marcino, Raymond Matheson, Doris Saunders, Walter Wilmot and others.
The Museum Committee contacted Roy’s brother Darcy and the Ag Society and obtained permission to move the blacksmith shop and equipment to the Heritage Village. Brandon Movers moved the Blacksmith Shop in late August or early September of 1997 to the Heritage Village. The shop has been shingled with cedar shingles (2002), painted and is fully equipped and operational (for special events).
The Hopkins Log Barn
In 2003, Hayward Hopkins and his sister Joan Richards offered to give to the Museum Committee a log barn that was situated on the Hopkins farm 3 miles north and 1 mile east of Clanwilliam on the NW of 29-16-17. Mr. Ben Hopkins, father of Hayward and Joan had built the barn.
In late fall of 2003, volunteers started preparing the barn for the move to the Minnedosa Heritage Village. Lyle Bremmer of Mentmor district, a farmer and building mover, was contacted and a deal was made with him to move the barn. Lyle brought up his moving equipment and with help from Bill Hopkins, his tractor and front end loader, they soon had the barn ready to move.
On October 24, 2003 the barn was moved to Minnedosa and placed on a new cement foundation prepared by our volunteers. The barn is approximately 27 x 24 feet made of poplar logs, has a second storey loft, and has a metal covered roof that is in good condition. Our volunteers have replaced some of the logs and chinked and plastered between the logs on the outside. Presently the barn is being used for storage, but eventually there will be a horse stall put in, a box stall and perhaps a small pen, to give it more of a barn appearance inside.
We are very grateful to Hayward Hopkins and his sister Joan Richards for donating this building to our collection in the village.
The Manley Log House
Originally built in 1880 by Edmund Manley south of Newdale, this old log house was preserved over the years by being covered with shiplap and insul brick siding. The Museum Committee was interested in saving it and planned to tear it down piece by piece, numbering the logs and re-assembling it at the Heritage Village in Minnedosa.
Edmund Manley had come west from Ontario, with other family members in 1878. They were the first settlers in the area south of Newdale. With logs (poplar) cut and hewn from the Little Saskatchewan River Valley north of Newdale (as it is known today) the parents built a home for the family approximately 4.5 miles south of Newdale. Then in 1880 Edmund, the youngest son built his house (approx. 18’ x 25’) on his homestead quarter section NE-18-15-20. For the next 79 years the log house with various additions and deletions was home to the Edmund Manley’s, the John F. Waddell’s, the Carl Norden’s and finally the Ed Norden’s.
In April and May of 2004 members of the Minnedosa and District Museum Committee began the job of tearing down the old home of the Norden family. Finally in July 2006, the house was re-assembled on a new cement pad in the Heritage Village. A new roof was put on and shingled with cedar shingles. In September 2006 the logs were chinked and plastered on the outside walls and 2 coats of preservative stain were applied to help preserve the logs and retard insect damage. Windows and doors have been repaired and replaced, and furnishings added.
The McManus Log Cabin – Trappers Cabin
On December 15, 1999, the Minnedosa town employees brought in the Wm. McManus Trappers Cabin to the Heritage Village. It had been located on a farm approximately five (5) miles north west of Minnedosa and had not been occupied for some time.
Mr. Wm. McManus had built it probably in the early 1940’s. Bill was an Irishman, born in Ireland, came to Canada (Ontario) with his parents and then a few years later the family moved to Manitoba. Bill left home early in life and eventually arrived in the Lake Audy district where he built himself a log home. He married in 1903 and after many moves he finally settled down to farm in the Cameron District north of Minnedosa. They raised a family of seven boys and four girls. Eventually in his reclining years he built this particular cabin for himself, where he spent the summer months. He made many pieces of furniture with horns from elk and he was good at knitting mitts for various people. Mr. McManus died in 1971.
After we acquired the cabin, the committee members got to work, replaced the rotted logs, and shingled the roof with shingles they made from cedar hydro poles using John Moir’s sawing equipment. Then they plastered and chinked between the logs with a mixture of clay and chopped up straw. The result was a cozy little cabin, ready for furnishings. Today we have a cabin furnished with a stove, bed, table and most of the essentials required by a trapper, fisherman or hunter. A Mr. McAree formerly of The Pas, MB, who had access to many articles related to a trapper’s existence, was able to provide us with a variety of equipment to enhance a trapper’s lifestyle.
The Water Wheel
The Heritage Foundation Committee made up of Bob Mummery, Ken Harris and several others had a water wheel installed at the north end of the Fish Pond in August of 2001. Gallus Oherholzer of Erickson, MB, professionally built the wheel. The wheel is made out of tamarack wood, and was installed by John Skoglund Construction of Minnedosa, MB.
Because of problems with the flow of water from the lake, the wheel does not function as it should. A continuing problem with algae, etc. clogging the intake for the supply of water, causes an inconsistent rotation of the wheel. Other mechanical means of getting water flowing over the wheel have been very frustrating as well, and have resulted in a wheel not operating as it should. Hopefully problems will eventually be overcome and a solution found.
The wheel was refurbished, cleaned and varnished in June 2005, and when operating, is an interesting attraction at our Heritage Village. A new custom cover was added in 2012 for winter preservation.
As the Heritage Village became a reality, the members of the Lake Rehabilitation Committee felt they would like to see a windmill set up in the village. Doug Longstaff made the committee aware of a windmill in the Oak River district on a farm, and it might be available. Ken Harris and Doug received permission from the owner, Mrs. Audrery Coulson to have the windmill moved to Minnedosa as a donation from the Coulson family.
The Windmill was a project funded and restored by the Minnedosa Lake Rehabilitation Committee. This group of volunteers was formed in 1989 made up of the following people: G.C. Sparrow, D.G. Pollon, K.R. Harris, R.M. Mummery, B.J. McLennan and M.A. Nagorski as chairperson and approximately 14 other interested persons. Their funding came from federal and provincial governments, individuals, Town of Minnedosa, Manitoba Hydro, Minnedosa Parks Board, etc. Their objectives were to protect and enhance the area in and around Minnedosa Lake and The Little Saskatchewan River Valley and to protect and improve the local environment for everyone’s benefit.
On November 8, 2001 the windmill arrived at the Heritage Village under the supervision of Moffat Bros. Construction and Tony Saler Construction. Some minor repairs to the windmill, and the preparation of the site meant that the windmill didn’t go up until September 2002. The windmill has a 32-foot tower topped up with a Beatty Pumper. Saler Construction came and set the windmill in place. George Wade and his helpers put together pumping equipment, a water trough was purchased, and a chain link fence was put around the site for safety reasons. We now have in place a working windmill pumping water, and by recycling the water, we have a continuous flow of water when the wind blows.
Thanks to the Lake Rehabilitation Committee and the Coulson family, we have a very attractive addition to our Heritage Village. An information plaque honoring the donors has been placed on-site.