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Whether you are a visitor to our community, are researching your family roots, need background on an historic building or are just interested in local history, this website is your one-stop source of information on our heritage. 

The site offers you a glimpse of the history of Dufferin Municipality from the pre-settlement era to the post–1870 influx of homesteading families, and from the arrival of the railways to the rise and decline of the small towns and communities along its path.

You will also discover the wealth of historic buildings, cairns, plaques and other heritage resources that our communities have to offer.

Let us know of any omissions or errors. If you have information or photos you’d like to share, please contact us. Check out this site each month for our Special Features, including vintage photos from the area.

Please visit our Acknowledgements page, which recognizes the many people who contributed towards making the website possible, including the backbone of any endeavour—the volunteers who contributed material, researched, edited or proofread content, and gave in so many ways of their time and talents.

News and Events, January, 2024

Another Year. Happy New Year! Those of us who were looking forward to the end of 2023 now have our wish. Is it the end of those long pandemic-driven months that have seen so much illness, loss of friends and family, and for so many folks, that feeling of despair that has been casting a pall over so many lives?

One of the fascinating things about being interested in the past is the strange places it can take you. Have you ever explored the online realm of obsolete words? Many are rather amusing. Like 'scurryfunging', which would apply if you were rushing around tidying up your living room because you spotted your nosy neighbour unexpectedly coming for a visit. Other words provoke more thought. Maybe what we need more of just now is "confelicity" – joy at the happiness of others -rather than wallowing in our own sense of despair.

Speaking of despair, what about the obsolete word "respair" - meaning a sense of hopefulness after a time of despair? That one really resonates right now, doesn't it? Maybe we should make it our buzz-word for the year?

C/D MHAC 2024. After our success this past year with the Kennedy Burial Site project, we are looking forward to moving ahead with research on other abandoned burial sites in the Carman/Dufferin area [Carman-Dufferin Cemeteries, pp.107-113.] Our burial site team won't have the dedicated research of people like Margaret Glanfield to draw upon for these sites, so it's going to involve a lot of digging through old obituaries and talking to local seniors to get the names of people buried in these locations.

On the other hand, we are finding that a lot of other folks also are looking for lost burial sites. A number of requests for information have been coming to our committee and to others involved with local cemeteries. Volunteers with the Manitoba genealogical Society (MGS) and Find-a-grave projects have been active in this area as in other parts of the Province. Locally, members of our committee have been working with the folks at Greenwood Cemetery to locate and identify 'lost' graves. Questions also have been raised about both the upkeep of records and future burials in Broad Valley Cemetery. One of the main issues, even in these and other 'official' cemeteries, has been the loss of cemetery records. In the case of Greenwood Cemetery, loss was the result of flood damage. One of C/D MHAC's activities has been to encourage cemetery committees to make copies of their records and to store them in a location separate from the originals.

Îlets-de-Bois Cemetery Photo: I. Bramadat

A site that has generated a number of queries is the early Îlets-de-Bois Cemetery in the St. Daniel area. A cairn at the site bears the names of families who lived in the area, however, the number, location, and identity of those actually buried here is largely undocumented. This is one of the most significant heritage sites in the municipalities, particularly with respect to its association with early Métis settlement in the area. Unfortunately, there are no architectural components to the site, and it hasn't received designated heritage status.

One of our broader goals this coming year will be to see how the many groups and individuals who are researching the sites can begin to collaborate and pool our findings. The satisfaction we've seen with families who have been able to locate and place markers on 'missing' family graves provides ample justification for the time spent on this research. "'As long as we remember a person, they're not really gone. Their thoughts, their feelings, their memories, they become a part of us." (J. Cronin).

If you or anyone you know happens to have information about the people buried in the Harrison, Campbellsville, McKee or other undocumented burial sites in the area, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Natural History. "We have snow, we are skiing!" That's the happy voice of local skiers – finally there's some snow, and warmer temperatures after a couple of weeks under a frigid Arctic cold front. The trails will be busy this weekend.

Wonder how many of you remember away back in the years when hundreds of skiers came on the Sunday excursion trains to ski at Snow Valley near the west border of the R.M. of Dufferin? Or during the 1940s, when the army did winter training at the same location?

[History of the R.M of Dufferin in Manitoba 1880-1980, pp.283-5]

snow valley

Snow Valley ca. 1950 Photo: I. Bramadat


Recent History

Earlier news items are stored on a separate "Recent History" page.