Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Historic stones to be part of school’s future

  • Print

A wisp of dirt tumbles to the ground as Richard Graydon slaps his right palm against a smooth, oblong grey Tyndall stone brick that forms the foundation of a former historic home in a windswept field in Old Kildonan.


That stone and numerous others like it, all of which were likely quarried from a pit near the town of Garson, were used in the construction of Murray House.


It was the home of Donald Murray, who was born in Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, Scotland in 1801 and came to Canada with the fourth party of Selkirk Settlers, which numbered 100 people, in 1815.


Murray eventually settled on Frog Plain (Seven Oaks), writes historian Bruce Cherney, editor of the Winnipeg Real Estate News, in his article, "Extraordinary affair at Pembina."  


After the original Murray house was demolished, the bricks were used to build the home (some 25 to 30 metres southeast) of Murray’s son, Donald Murray Jr., which is where the stones still lie.


A room in the original Murray home was where Manitoba College was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1871, notes Graydon, a retired school teacher and principal.


"Manitoba College was a college that existed in Winnipeg... from 1871 to 1967, when it became one of the University of Winnipeg’s founding colleges," according to one online report.


"It was one of the first institutions of higher learning in the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba. The first graduating class had 12 members."


Graydon, a past chair of the board of regents of the U of W, was first informed of the significance of the Murray site during a walk in the area a few years ago with his former neighbour and longtime friend, Marlene Mouser, a great granddaughter of Donald Murray Jr.


Following his discovery, Graydon spoke with a building supervisor at the downtown university.


"I said to him, ‘I think I know where some of the original stones from Manitoba College are,’ " he said. "He came out and I showed the site to him."


An agreement was then drawn up between the property’s owner and the university.


"It stated that if the property was to change hands or be developed (which it will be), the stones would revert to the U of W for its use," Graydon explained.


Sometime this fall the university will be sending out a team of professionals to assess and remove the stones.


"We’re looking at three or four options for their use," said U of W president and vice-chancellor Lloyd Axworthy during a telephone interview, mentioning that one of the potential uses is in the construction of the university’s new $40 million health and recreation complex.


"We’re quite excited about it — to see some of your history restored in such a way."
The past lives.


Martin Zeilig is a Garden City-based writer.


Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Times area and would like to contribute to this column, contact jim.timlick@canstarnews.com.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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 April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Do you intend to visit the CMHR once it’s fully operational?

View Results