May 25, 2015


Upper Fort Garry well worth exploring

OK, it's more a hole than a tunnel, but what a hole.

It's the old well for Upper Fort Garry, which once stood near where Main Street and Broadway are today.

Work continues at the Upper Fort Garry  Heritage Park around the Governor's Gate.


Work continues at the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park around the Governor's Gate. Photo Store

There's a story that says when Métis leader Louis Riel was fleeing Upper Fort Garry in 1870 -- Thomas Scott had already been executed at the fort and Col. Garnet Joseph Wolseley's troops were on their way to put down the Red River Rebellion -- he dumped his personal papers down the well for safekeeping.

The story also says some of those papers spell out how the Hudson's Bay Company was to turn over land it controlled at the time -- a good portion of southern Manitoba, including what we now call Winnipeg -- to the Métis government.

As part of the research being done in the lead-up to the creation of the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park, that original well has been located.

All that remains to seeing what's down there is a careful excavation of the site, including a thorough search to see if there are any papers backing the Métis claim to half a million hectares of land, much of which is along the Red River in Winnipeg.

The Manitoba Métis Federation first filed its land-claim case in 1981, saying land grants promised to Métis children in the Manitoba Act of 1870 had not been carried out. The organization wants compensation, which could end up in the billions.

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear their case.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2012 B3

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 8:56 pm

Owner of Melita auction mart plans to rebuild after fire destroyed building

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 7:56 pm

Walters can't wait for rookie camp to start

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 6:42 pm

Family and friends gather to mourn Teresa Cassandra Robinson

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 6:34 pm

Selinger questioned about kicking Melnick out of caucus

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 6:18 pm

Morrissey, Kostalek have long way to go before claiming permanent spot with Jets

Scroll down to load more