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In a booklet “Carman in Half-Tone” published by the Dufferin Leader (1903), Carman is described as “The Forest Town of Manitoba – Situated in a Beautiful Grove of Oaks, Elms And Maples, On the Banks of the Boyne River, and the Centre of a Fertile Prairie District.”

A post office was established on the Boyne site in 1880 and was first located in postmaster Paul Gratton’s store. It changed hands and locations several times until 1914, when it was finally housed in a fine new government-built post office and customs office, now the Boyne Regional Library.

Carman looking north from the Library 1915

Carman City, generally known as “Carman”, took its name from the head of the Methodist Church in Canada, Bishop Carman, who had visited the Boyne Settlement in 1879. Initially part of the R.M. of Dufferin, it incorporated as the Village of Carman (1900) and later The Town of Carman (1906), becoming a municipality within a municipality. For several years the railway ended at Barnsley, seven miles to the north. Like other early settlements, uncertainty plagued the community until 1889, when the railway finally was extended to Carman. This sparked a period of rapid growth that saw fine homes, churches, schools and a hospital built and many new businesses and services established, including several stores, two newspapers, grain elevators, a creamery, bakery, furniture store and undertaker, banks and a brick factory.

For residents of the RM of Dufferin, until the 1950s or later, Carman was where people went for medical and hospital services, for births and often for death. It also hosted the annual Carman Fair and for young folks, it was the home of Saturday night dances and movies at the local theatre.

Today, with improved road transportation and growing concentration of facilities, Carman has become the major service and retirement centre for the Dufferin area as well as the location of the consolidated school system and first-class recreational facilities. Carman is the location of the Dufferin Historical Museum and other major local heritage repositories.

See also:

Municipal Heritage Sites
Monuments, Cairns, Signs
Carman General Hospital

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