Southern Manitoba Pt. 2

After having some fresh Walleye (Pickerel) for lunch, we continued exploring Gimli, there is some history here.

Gimli even has a commercial fishing industry.

There were quite a few people on the beach even with Covid.

After our time here we continued south where our destination would be Stonewall where we spent a night at a campground, dumped our tanks and re-filled with fresh water. Our next stop along the route would be Komarno to visit the World’s Largest Mosquito.

It is a shame the plaque has been removed as we were interested in the reason behind this monument to the Mosquito. We continued on to Stonewall for the evening.

Next morning, we set off to Lockport as these locks are unique in that they include a Camere Curtain Dam.

As we were driving straight east to Lockport, we came across a Provincial Wetland Park called Oak Hammock Marsh, where we stopped. There are some interesting facts about the local wildlife.

We left here continuing east towards Lockport when we came across Lower Fort Garry.

Lower Fort Garry was built in 1830 by the Hudson’s Bay Company on the western bank of the Red River, 20 mi (32 km) north of the original Fort Garry (now in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Treaty 1 was signed there.

A devastating flood destroyed Fort Garry in 1826, prompting the company’s then-governor, George Simpson, to search for a safer location down river. Governor Simpson chose the site of Lower Fort Garry because of its high ground and location below the St. Andrew’s Rapids, eliminating a time-consuming portage of heavy fur packs and York boats. However, the fort never became the administrative centre it was intended, since most of the population of the area was centred near The Forks and objected to the extra travel required to do business at the new fort. As a result, Upper Fort Garry was rebuilt in stone at The Forks, very near the original Fort Garry site. (Wikipedia)

With Covid it was not open so we performed a self tour of the property.

We made it to Lockport mid afternoon visiting the St. Andrews Curtain Dam.

St. Andrews Caméré Curtain Bridge Dam, also known as the St. Andrews Lock and Dam, at Lockport was completed in 1910 in order to submerge the St. Andrews Rapids (a natural obstruction to the south) and make the Red River navigable through to Lake Winnipeg. The dam is 270 metres (886 ft) in length and the only Caméré curtain-style dam built in North America. Movable curtains are rolled back before winter freeze-up to prevent ice jams and allow flood waters to pass through unimpeded during the spring.[6] A canal lock, the only one found in the Canadian prairies, allows river traffic to pass under the bridge.

The bridge above the dam, completed in 1913, connects Manitoba Highway on either side of the river. The St. Andrews Caméré Curtain Bridge Dam was designated a National Historic Site in 1990. A monument and recreation area are located on the west bank of the Red River near the dam. (Wikipedia)

From here we went into Winnipeg for a few days to visit Stewart’s uncle Nick and his wife Ilona. While here we visited Fort Garry.

Fort Garry, also known as Upper Fort Garry, was a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on or near the site of the North West Company’s Fort Gibraltar established by John Wills in 1810 and destroyed by Governor Semple’s men in 1816 during the Pemmican War. Fort Garry was named after Nicholas Garry, deputy governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It served as the centre of fur trade within the Red River Colony. In 1826, a severe flood destroyed the fort. It was rebuilt in 1835 by the HBC and named Upper Fort Garry to differentiate it from “the Lower Fort,” or Lower Fort Garry, 32 km downriver, which was established in 1831. Throughout the mid-to-late 19th century, Upper Fort Garry played a minor role in the actual trading of furs, but was central to the administration of the HBC and the surrounding settlement. The Council of Assiniboia, the administrative and judicial body of the Red River Colony mainly run by Hudson’s Bay Company officials, met at Upper Fort Garry. 

In 1869, the Hudson’s Bay Company agreed to surrender its monopoly in the North-West, including Upper Fort Garry. In late 1869 and early 1870, the fort was seized by Louis Riel and his Metis followers during the Red River Rebellion. After the Rebellion, the area around the fort continued to grow. In 1873, the city of Winnipeg was established and the name Fort Garry was no longer used. In 1881-1884 the majority of the fort was demolished to straighten Main Street (it was at Main Street and Assiniboine Avenue).

Although only the main gate of the fort remains today, the name “Fort Garry” lives on through various institutions and businesses. An area or division of Winnipeg running along the Red River south of the original fort is called Fort Garry. The hotel beside the fort is called the Fort Garry Hotel, which was originally constructed for the Grand Truck Pacific Railway company. The two streets on either side of the hotel are Fort Street and Garry Street. Many companies have adopted the name, such as Fort Garry Industries and the Fort Garry Brewing Company. The Fort Garry Horse has been a component of the Winnipeg military garrison throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries. (Wikipedia)

All that is left is the original Gate to the Fort.

Our time in Manitoba has come to an end and it’s time to continue our journey East.

Next: Northern Ontario

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