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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 August 2018

Homewood Reunion. A year and a half of hard work by the Organizing Committee more than paid off July 15th when around 300 residents of Homewood from past and present turned up for the reunion. They gathered to pay tribute to former Homewood School #1456 and to honour the Froebe brothers who are credited with having made the first helicopter flight in Canada. Two cairns were unveiled to mark these significant reminders of local history.

To see a larger view of the cairns, click on the images.

The Reunion Committee had a full program planned for the day. Official events included greetings from Reeve George Gray and MLA Blaine Pederson, a brief history of helicopter flight by Jim Bell of the Canadian Aviation Society and stories of Homewood’s past by MC Charlie Froese and Co-Chair Stuart Breckon.

A highlight of the afternoon was a surprise visit by the Stars Air Ambulance crew who paid tribute to the Froese achievement by landing where the first helicopter flight took place back in 1938. Volunteers put together displays of past memorabilia, vintage machinery, video interviews and an informative walking tour of Homewood. At the dinner that evening, former teacher Gwen Last gave an entertaining account of her days teaching at Homewood School.


Early Threshing machines



Stars Helicopter Ambulance Crew

Small sample of displays

And those were just the organized events. The highlight of any reunion is sharing memories with old friends and neighbours and, in this case, with former classmates from Homewood School. Many of these tales will resonate with anyone who grew up in a small Manitoba community and attended a one-room school—snow forts in winter, hide-outs in the lilac bushes, the smell of wet wool garments in the cloak room in winter, playing hide-and-seek, prisoners’ base, or softball at recess, school picnics, Christmas concerts, pranks that might just warrant getting ‘The Strap’ — more stories than tadpoles in a spring pond. Then there are memories of small-town prairie life— the elevators, country stores, curling rink, spring floods, catching gophers.

Homewood residents also have some strange and unique stories to tell about the local sugar beet industry, such as their memories of Japanese-Canadian internment families sent to work on the sugar beet farms and of later post-war migrants to the area. There are tales of resourceful farmers who built their own farm machinery, of teenagers literally ‘riding the rails’ and of kids just being kids.

Special credit goes to Merle (Cutting) Kluczkowski who collected these stories for the printed history book Homewood Reunion 2018. This rich collection underlines what many of us already knew—that growing up as a ‘free-range’ kid in a close-knit community and attending a one-room school can be a great way to start your life.


Part of the crowd at the Homewood Reunion


Collection and preservation of local heritage are among C/D MHAC’s priorities. Thanks to the website (www.homewoodreunion.ca) and history book, Homewood has a fine record of their past. Well done everyone. You did your hometown proud.

 

Recent History

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