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Introduction

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 2018

Remembrance Day 2018. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. In addition to the annual Remembrance Day services in which we honour those who lost their lives in the war, the centenary is being commemorated worldwide with special ‘Bells for Peace” services and other events.


At Roseisle, children representing the many ethnic groups who make up the community lined up at dusk to take part in ringing the ‘bell for peace’ under the guidance of ceremony
co-ordinator Diane Gillingham and husband Grant.


    
Lest we forget                        Carman Legion #18 laying wreath at cenotaph 

This year, the Royal Canadian Legion encouraged school children to learn more about the WWI veterans who are buried in our local cemeteries. These are the young men who made it back to Canada – and lived the rest of their lives with memories of the war. They didn’t talk about their experiences, one reason the camaraderie and support of the local Legion was so important to them.

Nursing Sisters. One aspect of military service that is often overlooked is the service of Nursing Sisters with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Anna and Grace Bruce were two local sisters who served with distinction in WWI. Their parents were early settlers in the Stephenfield district. The sisters both trained in Vancouver General Hospital. Anna received the prestigious Royal Red Cross for bravery while serving in Greece. She also was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1920. Grace served in England and France; among the patients she nursed was John McCrae, author of ‘In Flanders Fields’.

Their brother George also was a decorated WWI soldier. Read more about the family in “The History of the R.M. of Dufferin 1880–1980, p.358. The photograph of the three siblings is of interest—the caption notes that Anna and Grace could not pose in their uniforms because they were lieutenants and outranked their military brother.


Anna, George & Grace Bruce WWI

Agnes Wrightman Wilkie, a WWII Nursing Sister with local connections, has been in the news this Remembrance Day. Agnes’ grandparents homesteaded on SW 6-7-7w near Roseisle in 1887. Agnes graduated from high school in Carman then completed her Nursing program with distinction at Misericordia General Hospital.

She joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a Nursing Sister. She died when the S.S. Caribou on which she was returning to duty in St. John’s, Newfoundland after visiting her parents in Carman was struck by an enemy torpedo in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Agnes was the only Nursing Sister killed by enemy action in WWII. She was buried with full military honours.

Read more about her bravery and compassion and the many ways in which she has been honoured in Newfoundland, Carman and at Misericordia Hospital in a Facebook article by Dr. Barbara Paterson, chair of the MGH heritage collection.

 

News and Events October 2018

Leary Brick Works. The Leary Brick Works is the last semi-intact remnant of some 200 brick plants that once operated in Manitoba. Based on extensive research, architectural historian David Butterfield completed a study of the Leary brick plant in 2018.

The full report is here.

 

 

 


“Special Places” signs.
The third phase of a larger “Special Places” project has just been completed. In 2015, we received support through the Heritage Grant Program to work with consultant Lorne Thompson on an inventory of over 150 significant heritage sites in Carman/Dufferin. The Historic Resources Branch (HRB) then applied set criteria to the information collected and identified a short-list of sites that warranted special recognition.

Nine of the sites already have Designated Municipal Heritage Site status; the remaining 21 structures were awarded certificates. In this latest phase of the program, we designed and distributed signs to further acknowledge the historic and architectural significance of the ‘certificate’ sites.


Marg & Dale Warkentin display their sign


To add to the interpretive and promotional value of the project, we also designed two new heritage tour brochures, one for the R.M. of Dufferin, the other, a revised tour of the Town of Carman. When these brochures are printed in 2019, free copies will be available at the Memorial Hall, Museum, and at several businesses around town.


Recent History

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