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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, March 2019

Graysville Inventory. Judie Owen and her committee have submitted their Graysville Heritage Resources Inventory. Please contact us if you know of any resources we’ve missed.

McGill Family Farm.
This is one of a few farms in the R.M. of Dufferin that has remained in the same family for over 125 years.

Unlike local homestead families, William McGill purchased the east half of section 8-6-3w from the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) and the west half from a previous buyer. This departure from the typical homesteading process was possible under provisions of the Dominion Land Act by which sections 8 and 26 of each township were reserved for the HBC. The company then sold the land to individuals or to land speculators.
Original McGill home on 8-6-3w

To learn more about this early pioneer family, go to Local heritage > Homesteads & Family Farms

A Broader Context for Our History. The focus of Carman/Dufferin MHAC projects these past months has been on our early history, in particular on events around 1870 and the birth of the Province of Manitoba.

In our February 2019 News & Events, we noted that one of our objectives for this year is to better understand the impact that formation of the province had on local population density, ethnic and religious make-up, patterns of land ownership and land use. Most of our research so far has focused on the post-1870 era—the arrival of settlers, development of an agricultural economy and preservation of heritage resources from this time period.

Agricultural economy arrives—breaking the prairie soil RM of Dufferin. Photo: JB Coleman

At our March Carman/Dufferin MHAC meeting, members identified a couple of ‘missing pieces’: first, how little we really know about the broader context in which local history unfolded and second, how relevant this history is to present-day events.

Fortunately, there has been a flurry of research in recent years around the formation of the Province, in particular as it relates to land grants. Much of this research is accessible through online sources. Over the next while, we’ll direct readers to some of the key articles and studies that give some insight into context in which the 1870 transition occurred. We’ll also try to understand why, 150 years later, these issues are still part of our daily news. We’ll begin our review by looking at an article that places this region of Manitoba directly in the conflict in the 1870 controversy over land settlement.

In The Confrontations at Rivière aux Îlets-de-Bois (published by the Manitoba Historical Society and available online), historian Alan B. McCullough provides an overview of the complexities around purchase of former HBC territory by Canada and the resulting interpretations of competing land claims. He highlights the specific Métis land claims in what is now the Carman/Dufferin area and places local events within the broader context of regional, provincial and national politics. McCullough notes how provincial politics, particularly dispatches between prominent figures such as Lieutenant–Governor Archibald and Archbishop Taché, were often at cross purposes with federal strategies. The article is a good place to start in understanding events around 1870 as they pertained to our local history and heritage.

What makes this article of particular interest are Alan B. McCullough’s family ties to this area. His paternal great-grandfather homesteaded near Carman in 1874. His maternal great-grandparents were among the first to homestead in the Roseisle district. Alan grew up in the St. Daniel area and attended Albert School. For much more on the McCulloughs, see History of the R.M. of Dufferin, pp. 590-606.

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.

Please note: the remaining structures at the brick plant are unsafe and public entry to the site is prohibited.



Heritage Tour Brochures. Carman/Dufferin MHAC has prepared two heritage tour brochures featuring heritage sites in the Town of Carman and the RM of Dufferin.


Free copies are 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.