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: November 2016
Special Places Inventory. Members of the committee met with David Butterfield, recently ‘retired’ from the Historic Resources Branch, to discuss short-listing local heritage sites for special recognition. It was a productive meeting. All parties agreed on a few sites that will now receive certificates recognizing their heritage value.
Sadly, we have lost a couple of significant heritage sites that have deteriorated since the last inventory. Faced with the cost of preserving and maintaining unused structures, private owners have opted to let time take its toll. Could earlier community recognition of their historic significance have resulted in joint private and public initiatives to preserve and repurpose these structures?
For the rural municipality, this is now pretty much a hypothetical question. A few years ago, we started drawing up a heritage tour of the R.M. The plan was put on hold when we realized that, given trends towards agribusiness and changing transportation patterns, most of those old sites where schools and churches once served as hubs for small but vibrant communities are now cultivated fields. With removal of the railway lines, elevators and train stations have disappeared and with declining rural population, small town businesses are closing. Our rural area has become, in effect, a graveyard of local history. The issue now for the CDMHAC is which of these rural or small town sites should be commemorated by a ‘gravestone’ in the form of a monument or sign.
On a much more positive note, we must acknowledge how much we have appreciated working with David Butterfield over the past several years. MHACs like ours have been inspired by his knowledge and enthusiasm for local heritage. We are delighted that, unlike our heritage sites, he has been successfully ‘repurposed’ as a consultant.
David Butterfield (left) and CDMHAC President
Nedra Burnett at Special Places meeting
Promoting Local Heritage. The heritage community tends to be a close-knit group. Here in Carman/Dufferin we try to work closely with the Dufferin Historical Museum, particularly when it comes to pooling volunteer resources. This past week, the two groups promoted local heritage at the Carman Wellness Fair. We handed out our CDMHAC website business cards and introduced folks to the new Cemetery Guide along with information on designated heritage sites in the district. The Museum tested visitors' skill at identifying pioneer artifacts and promoted their plan for collecting stories of early Carman, a project that expands on work begun earlier this year by Wes Vanstone. Their intent is to collect and publish150 stories by 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Ina Bramadat (CDMHAC website) promotes
heritage projects at local Wellness Fair
Museum’s Caroll McGill and Shirley Snider
discuss local stories project with visitors
We also had an opportunity to tell folks about some of the upcoming Museum events that you will want to put on your calendar:
November 16 – Museum Annual Meeting. Pot-luck at 6:30 p.m. with presentation at 7:30 by Gordon Goldsborough on his newly launched book about abandoned sites in Manitoba. Those who attended his earlier presentations were impressed with his vast knowledge and dedication to Manitoba heritage.
December 3 – Christmas at the Museum. Everyone is looking forward as well to launching the holiday season at this annual gala featuring sleigh rides, food and entertainment.
June 24, 2017 – Official opening of newly renovated Boyne School. More about this event later.
Earlier news items are stored on a separate "Recent History" page.