Old Town Hall, 122 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

The last or the first historic building along this side of Main Street.

As the datestone on the stepped pediment above the entrance states, Carberry’s old town hall was built in 1907. Brandon architect William Alexander Elliott designed the building in a Neo-Classical mode  and it still serves the town as a multi-purpose building.

The front elevation is a wonderful study in symmetry. The brickwork, laid in standard running bond, expresses the Classical elements: the flat roof with quiet cornice, the grand arches over the three openings, CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 104each surmounted with arches and keystones, the formal entrance, stringcourse and pediment.

The little triangular transom creates a traditional pediment  that adds to the elevating effect of climbing the stairs and passing through the recessed doorway into the formal world beyond.

Being set on a high rusticated limestone foundation affords full use of the basement. As a town hall the place was used for offices, meeting rooms and as the local jail.

In a small treed park on the same lot as the town hall stands a somber handsome sculpture of a soldier along with a cenotaph listing the local dead in the two World Wars.

Today the building continues its role as community space housing CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 103offices for the Cypress Planning District, Arts Council, North Cypress Weed Control District and the Emergency Measures Organization and providing a meeting place for various community organizations.

Pa Tuckett recalls occasionally sitting with a prisoner in the jail in the basement of the town hall. This was back in the 1940s and 50s. “The law required a prisoner never be left alone so somebody had to sit with him all night. It paid well and you didn’t actually have to stay awake,” remembers Pa. “Usually it was some drunk causing a ruckus and winding up in jail. One time, quite by accident, they caught a wanted man here. I sat with him. He was the only prisoner that talked to me. He said some scary things. I just listened. He never found out who I was.”

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Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage

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