Regular readers of my blog know I am enthralled with the rich heritage of Carberry. Over the last two years I’ve worked on creating a comprehensive walking tour guide of the the town. This was one of the recommendations of the provincial heritage branch when they designated two blocks of the town’s Main Street as Manitoba’s first (and still only) Heritage District on June 12, 2007. It’s been a labour of love that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly especially since the result is a beautiful book.
I lost track of how often I visited Carberry doing research on the book. I was aided by many people in town. Val Andrey at the archives answered my many questions and provided archival photographs, Kelly Garnett at the museum found pictures for me and Cathy Drayson, president of the Carberry Heritage Festival, was the mover and shaker who raised enough funds to have the book printed. Here’s a sample page. Click to enlarge.
The result is a high quality 56 page book that features articles and pictures of 45 Carberry heritage sites including the 28 designated buildings on Main Street as well as houses, churches and a few phantom buildings that no longer exist. Along with vivid descriptions, the book contains 86 pictures, most in colour, some archival, a numbered map of the walking tour through town plus interesting facts about Carberry and its history.
As well as promoting Carberry’s wealth of built heritage which is unique in Manitoba and rare on the prairies, the book is a fundraiser. All proceeds from the sale of the book are shared equally by four local heritage organizations: Carberry Plains Museum, Carberry Plains Archives, The Seton Centre and Carberry Heritage Festival. The book costs $10 Can.
Once the book was researched, written and designed, raising money for printing it was the next step. Cathy Drayson deserves kudos for her efforts in this regard. I raised $250 from Westoba Credit Union, the Chamber of Commerce chipped in a substantial amount but it was Cathy who raised the lion’s share, approaching local businesses and individuals for donations and selling nine ads in the book. Without her there would be no book. Thank you Cathy!
Through Carberry News-Express 500 copies of the book were printed by Derksen Printers in Steinbach and came out two days before the 2015 heritage festival. We sold 65 copies at the festival and sales continue to be brisk. The printing job is exceptional and I’m grateful to Derksen for their professionalism and cordiality. This is another sample page. Click to enlarge.
The format of the book – 8.5 by 11 landscape folded horizontally – allows the tour to be walked or driven and it is very pocket and purse friendly making it easy to mail. It’s a great gift for heritage buffs everywhere (think Christmas), for current and former residents of Carberry and area, for birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and visiting friends and family. The book is an effective local promotion and marketing tool for Carberry councils, organizations and businesses, too. It demonstrates pride in the past, honouring those who built the town and farmed the land.
Visiting Carberry and area is a fascinating Manitoba day trip. Hidden in plain view next to the Trans-Canada Highway, Carberry is about 90 minutes west of Winnipeg and 30 minutes east of Brandon. My tour guide enriches the experience even further and has broad appeal to those with an interest in Manitoba history.
If you live in the Carberry area, the book can be purchased for $10 at the Carberry/North Cypress Library, 115 Main Street, Carberry Plains Archives, 122 Main Street. I will be signing copies of the book at the One-Stop Shop on Friday November 6 at the Carberry Community Hall. It will also be available at the Craft and Home-Based Business Show on Saturday, November 28 at the Carberry Community Hall. My readers can order it directly from me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a postage fee of $3 per book in Canada (slightly higher elsewhere) in addition to the $10 price.
Although I still travel widely in Manitoba on the look out for heritage stories I have found enormous personal satisfaction focusing my efforts on Carberry. I feel I’m made a valuable and lasting contribution to the town, that I have made a difference which was my intent. Thank you to the wonderful people of Carberry for their support and understanding.