Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/12/2015 (620 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Despite a crimp in the operation due to a delay in construction, the St. Vital Museum continues to draw rave reviews from visitors, and is still assembling artifacts highlighting the history of Winnipeg’s second oldest settlement.
Though the earliest residents of St. Vital migrated north from Fort Daer and Pembina, N.D., the area has a deep connection with the voyageurs from Quebec.
One of the most significant explorers was Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye (Nov. 17, 1685 – Dec. 5, 1749), a French Canadian military officer, fur trader and explorer. In the 1730s he and his four sons opened up the area west of Lake Superior and thus began the process that added Western Canada to the original New France in the Saint Lawrence basin. He was also the first European known to reach North Dakota and the upper Missouri River.
It is believed that Varennes Avenue and school are named after La Vérendrye. Varennes School was also the marshalling yard for Métis traders who used the Old Crow Wing Trail as the eastern route to Crow Wing, Minn. The trail went south on what is now St. Anne’s Road, through Lorette, Man., to Roseau, Minn., and then south. The route was abandoned in the 1820s when a group of traders wiped out a Lakota village.
The voyageurs used birch bark canoes to paddle their way west from Quebec, and thanks to Paul Desrosiers, the St. Vital Museum now has a five-metre canoe, which is currently lodged on the back of the 1939 Fargo fire truck.
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The 2016 calendars are selling quickly. The calendars are full of photos and other information pertaining to St. Vital and its residents. They are available between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any Saturday and cost $5 each, or three for $10. Paid-up members receive a calendar as part of their membership.
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Work continues on the display celebrating the early years of girls’ hockey in St. Vital. Anyone with photos from the 1950s and 60s is asked to drop them off at the museum on Saturdays. The oldest photo so far is an enhanced newspaper clipping of a Glenlee team that went undefeated over two seasons.
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As the festive season rapidly approaches, the directors, volunteers and Saturday staff of the St. Vital Museum wish everyone the best of the season and a very happy new year.
Bob Holliday is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org