Tag Archives: carberry

12 Days of Christmas in Carberry – Day One

 Carberry – North Cypress Library, 115 Main St. Carberry, MB


While most of the buildings along Carberry’s Main Street have been used for numerous purposes, this compact little structure has served but two high-profile uses since it was built in 1938: federal post office and regional library. The original building was the basic cube on the left. The addition complements the original building in style and materials. Overall, Art Deco describes the building’s architecture. Popular into the 1940s for federal government buildings, the style easily adapted to small town requirements of size and functionality. Art Deco elements here are the boxy massing, flat roofline, well-defined geometric lines and the low-relief ornamentation. Tall windows surrounded by soldier courses of bricks and limestone sills, the limestone surround of the main entrance contrasting with the red-brown brick and the stepped pavilion of the entrance all exude simplicity and durability, modern practicality at its height in 1938.

Carberry Factoid

The first post office opened in 1881 as De Winton, named after Colonel De Winton who at the time was secretary to the Governor General. The name was changed to Carberry in 1883.

Why Carberry?

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Lyons House Update


Reid Dickie

Over the past week my report on the old Lyons Mansion, tumbling down daily along Hwy #5, has garnered thousands of hits and several comments bemoaning the old pile’s condition.

The pictures on the previous post showed the glamorous face of the place. Below are several shots of the Lyons house in less flattering detail. One reader suggested they’d like to buy it and refurbish the old place. Take a long look at the condition of the foundation and brick structure before you follow through. It’s had it! It’s a ruin!

To see the condition of the interior watch my video.

Click pics to enlarge.










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Before the Bullet – How To Load & Fire a Flintlock Muzzle-Loaded Long Gun

Snapshot 1 (16-08-2013 9-55 PM)

Reid Dickie

In the evolution of firearms the change from muzzleloaded guns to cartridges where spark, charge and projectile were contained in a single unit, in a bullet, was a future attractor so powerful that it shaped civilization.  Before the bullet, there were muzzleloaders and there still are.

At the Carberry Heritage Festival I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Vidnes and Arthur Ingram, members of the Manitoba Muzzleloaders Association. The display of their long guns was a festival highlight. At the top of every hour they fired off two rounds which echoed down the main drag, startling everyone a little and drawing attention.

Snapshot 1 (16-08-2013 10-52 PM)

The guns they fired were both muzzleloaders, Chuck’s is a flintlock and Arthur’s is a percussion, both reproductions of earlier weapons. At the 3:00 firing Chuck explained how his gun is loaded and fired as I recorded him. Click any of the pictures to watch the 2:42 video. Arthur’s gun was a later development in muzzleloaders. It used a cap over a nipple which when struck set off the charge, rather like a cap gun.


I asked Chuck how many members the club has and how many are female. “We are a limited club with 60 memberships. Some are family memberships which means spouses and children so there are actually quite a few more than 60 persons,” says Chuck. “I don’t know how many are female but quite a few, maybe 30% or more are actively involved with the club and shoot on a regular basis. Our club is an associate club within the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and a member of Canada’s National Firearms Association. We are an incorporated club and our official name is Manitoba Muzzleloaders Brandon Chapter Inc.”

Both Chuck and Art, who live in the Carberry area, said they’ve had an interest in guns from an early age and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with specialty guns like muzzleloaders. They use the guns for target shooting – there is a shooting range near Carberry – as well as hunting and demonstrations. Their black powder club meets regularly, often drawing 30 participants to a shoot.

Watch a demonstration of how to load and fire a muzzleloader.

I thank Chuck and Art for sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with me.

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Carberry Festival Deemed A Success, Will Be Annual Event


Reid Dickie

Great news for heritage buffs! The Carberry Heritage Festival Committee had its final meeting this week and decided there will be a second annual festival next year!

Cathy Drayson, one of the committee members, said the merchants and the townspeople were very happy with the turnout and results of the festival. It brought many new faces to town, helped support local businesses and gave Manitoba’s heritage gem a higher profile.

“I think it went very well and we’re hearing good reports from both locals and those from away,” says Cathy. “We definitely have a few kinks to fix and have come up with some ideas already.”

Personally I’m thrilled the event will continue. Carberry has only begun to exploit its rich and varied history. I’m humbled and grateful to play a small part in publicizing its heritage.

For the latest info on our next festival check out http://www.carberryheritagefestival.com

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Carberry’s Heritage Festival 2013


Reid Dickie

The town of Carberry began what I hope will be an annual tradition with their first heritage festival last weekend. I attended both days and enjoyed myself thoroughly. As an aficionado of Carberry and its heritage I came to appreciate the little town in new ways.

The two blocks of Main Street that comprise Manitoba’s only designated heritage district were blocked off to traffic for the festival with buskers, vendors and information booths set up along the street. Many of the merchants did window displays of antiques representing the early days of their commerce. Penny Shaw, the recently-retired town archivist, gave detailed tours of prominent buildings which were popular with history and heritage seekers of all ages.


One of my cherished memories of the event will be the little girl who walked up to the gigantic stuffed head of a male bison, pulled its beard and said, “It’s just like grandpa’s.”

In spite of cool weather on Friday the festival drew some local and away people to events. High tea was served both days at the Magic Bean Coffee Shop, vintage cars and farm equipment were on display and the strawberry social at the drop-in centre was popular.

Mark Morriseau and his band played to a large and happy crowd onCARBERRY HERITAGE FEST PICS 046 Friday evening at the all-ages dance in the community hall.

On Saturday, the weather improved greatly with sunshine and lots more people in attendance. The ginger snaps from a hundred-year-old recipe at Modern Bakery were delicious, the farmer’s market offered fresh veggies and such, the antique store had other dealers set up their wares and street performers could be heard up and down the block. There was truly a festive air about the little town.

CARBERRY HERITAGE FEST PICS 060Taxidermist Stewart Bailey, in addition to the buffalo head, had stuffed mink, badger, fisher and wolverine on display. Stewart recounts how a fisher catches and kills a porcupine on my video of the event.

Three men from the Manitoba Muzzleloaders brought a fascinatingCARBERRY HERITAGE FEST PICS 069 array of old guns, pioneer equipment and aboriginal items. They fired their muzzle-loaded guns on the hour, echoing down the Main Street and startling more then a few people. See my video for this.

I toured the inside of the old Bank of Montreal building, finding it mostly stripped down to planks, leaving a rather sad feeling that this unique building has been left unused for so long.

DAUPHIN OCTOBER PICTURES 121I also got a tour of the inside of Carberry’s gingerbread house, built by James White around 1900. I’ve written about it at length and plan to return this summer and do a video tour of the inside.

The Carberry Plains Museum offered lemonade and tours of their fine collection housed in a building constructed by James White for his sash and door factory.

The town and the festival committee are to be commended for a terrific first festival. It had its bugs and its fails but overall the occasion honoured well the town’s past and its present as well. I hope the festival becomes an annual event that builds in popularity and participation.

I created a three and a half minute video of various events at the festival. Click on any of the pictures in this post to watch the video.

For the latest info on our festival check out http://www.carberryheritagefestival.com

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UPDATED – Carberry’s First Annual Heritage Festival August 9 & 10, 2013


Reid Dickie

UPDATE: More events have been added and new details are available for Carberry’s First Annual Heritage Festival. The two blocks of Main Street that comprise Manitoba’s only designated Heritage District will be closed to traffic for festival events from 2 to 5 pm on Friday and 11 to 5 pm on Saturday.


  • self-guided walking tours of Carberry’s architectural gems;
  • display of vintage cars and farm implements at Carberry Plains Museum from 2 to 7 pm Friday and 10 to 7 pm Saturday;
  • hour-long cemetery walking tours at 3 pm;
  • Friends of Camp Hughes, a WW1 training camp, will have a display in the Legion about the camp’s history;
  • street buskers will perform;
  • artisans will have booths selling their wares;
  • lots of fun activities for kids – games, face painting;
  • get your picture taken wearing a vintage hat, have some lemonade on the verandah of the gingerbread house and help support the museum;
  • there will be demonstrations of wool spinning, taxidermy, felt making and intuitive readings


  • a decorated bike parade with prizes and fun at 3:30 pm;
  • cut a rug to fiddler Mark Morisseau and his band at the old time dance from 7 – 11 pm in the hall. It’s an all-ages (no alcohol) event so bring the whole family. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students.


  • Farmers Market from 9 to 11 am with plenty of fresh local produce;
  • celebration of naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton’s birthday at the Seton Centre from 11 to 1 pm with lunch and birthday cake;
  • high tea in the afternoon;
  • apron fashion show;
  • flea market;
  • a new community mural will be installed;
  • many businesses will feature special heritage-priced items;


If you got it, flaunt it! One of the basic adages of self-promotion.

From the angle of heritage preservation, there are very few Manitoba towns or cities that can match Carberry for sheer heritage chutzpah. The town of 1670 boasts Manitoba’s only designated heritage district, two blocks of Main Street containing 30 original buildings constructed between 1896 and 1930. This summer, the town is inviting everyone to the First Annual Carberry Heritage Festival – Friday and Saturday August 9 and 10. They have plenty to celebrate!

I love this idea! It’s original, ambitious and appropriate for the town. I have called Carberry Manitoba’s Heritage Gem and written extensively on this blog about its attractions. (On the Category menu there are 44 posts about Carberry) The town is a major day tripper destination for heritage buffs. If you are a heritage buff and haven’t been to Carberry, shame on you. Their heritage festival is a great opportunity to see the real deal.

The two-day festival has a growing slate of activities planned:

  • Seton Centre will be celebrating Ernest Thompson Seton‘s 153rd birthday with cake, lunch and other events;
  • Friends of Camp Hughes will have a display set up in the Legion and self-guided walking tours of Camp Hughes site, 16 kms west of Carberry off Hwy 351;
  • The Carberry Plains Museum will have a display of antique vehicles and farm implements at the museum;
  • The James White gingerbread house (top picture) will serve lemonade and cookies on the Verandah along with a vintage hat show;
  • The Magic Bean Coffeehouse will serve high tea and present an apron fashion show on Saturday afternoon;
  • Gerry Oliver will demonstrate felting and sell his wares; Pat Lovatt will sell her hand made alpaca items;
  • On Saturday morning there will be a farmer’s market with plenty of fresh produce by then on sale, along with lots of crafts and handmades.
  • Aboriginal events feature dancing and singing;
  • Kid’s activities will include face-painting;
  • Joe at Offbeat Antiques will hold a flea market, bargains galore;
  • buskers will appear at various times and places on Main Street;
  • Friday night an old-time dance will be held in the hall. It’s an all ages (no alcohol) affair so bring the tykes and the grannies and whoop it up to fiddler Mark Morisseau;
  • mark m

    Click the pic to make Mark and his band play a medley of fiddle tunes.

  • more events and activities still in the works. I will add them as they get green lit.

Announcing this festival is a bit of a scoop for me so thank you to the Carberry Heritage Group for allowing me that honour.

Alert your heritage network to this new wrinkle in celebrating a local past. See you in Carberry in August.

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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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A. E. Gardiner Building, 116 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Another unique building in Carberry!

Yes, in Manitoba’s only Heritage District which offers dozens of different styles, materials and uses, we find yet another unique structure! Now a museum and gift shop devoted to Ernest Thompson Seton, the world-renowned artist and naturalist who spent about ten years in the Carberry area, this building has a rich past.

CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 106Built about 1915, this little place is a finely-crafted example of a popular building technique of the era: concrete blocks formed on site. Choosing from a variety of moulds with various facings, Frank Thomson of Austin, MB created the blocks and assembled them into this compact, one-storey commercial building. Hiding behind the boomtown storefront is a forward-facing, medium-pitch gable roof.


Thomson used one lovely pattern on the building. The intertwining floral design flows around the little place like sweet concrete syrup, a divine, resonant texture that embraces rather than creates the inner space. Even after almost a hundred years of exposure to Manitoba weather,CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 108 the pattern on the blocks remains crisp and vibrant, a testament to the builder.

The two rougher patterns on the boomtown parapet imitate blocks but are actually a metal covering. The quoins were created by raising the corner blocks. The lintels and sills are concrete.

Today it houses The Seton Centre but its original moniker is well earned. A. E. Gardiner ran a harness repair business out of this place for 48 years starting just after it was built.

Pa Tuckett spent a lot of hours jawing with A. E. “We were like brothers sometimes,” Pa remembers, “Close and caring. We used to joke that one fixed up busted horse leather and the other fixed up busted automobiles, who would win. I think A. E. knew the answer to that all along.”

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Flower Shop, 110 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Crossing Third Avenue heading north

Manitoba’s lone Heritage District features two buildings used extensively by various telephone systems. The building across the street at 121 Main was built by Manitoba Telephones and became the new home of the switchboard and telephone operators after 1939. The flower shop building was used by Bell Telephone company from 1906 to 1908 then it was taken over by Manitoba Government Telephones. Since 1980 it has been series of flower shops including Phyll’s Flower Shop,  Arlene’s Floral Boutique and Flowers and Gifts.

Though thoroughly clad in metal siding now, beneath lurks another fine one-storey brick structure with flat roof. Unassuming andCARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 112 utilitarian, the building’s facade is a symmetrical display of central entrance bracketed by large display windows. This side view shows the addition at the rear of the building.

Pa Tuckett’s daughter Jane worked as a switchboard operator in this building for about six months before moving into the new telephone building across the street. “Jane had a sweet and very distinctive voice that people recognized on the street and on the phone,”  says Pa.

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Rex Cafe Site, 50 Main Street, Carberry, MB

carberry rex cafe

Reid Dickie

Phantom heritage along Main Street

Now just a local memory and a post on a history blog, Rex Cafe served Carberry and area for many decades at the corner of Main and Third. Built about 1900, the one-storey building featured a facade sporting numerous brickwork details including ornate corner pilasters, elaborate cornice and a row of stepped corbelling.  Large display windows and a recessed entrance with sidelights and transom completed the front view.

CARBERRY MAIN STREET LOOKING SOUTH, NEW HARDTOP, 1942In this vintage picture you can see the Rex Cafe was an anchor on its corner site and how well it fit in with the neighbouring brick structures that complete the block.

Over the years the cafe had a number of different owners, includingCARBERRY 50 MAIN0001 Lee Low. The cafe provided Chinese food to the Carberry community. This ad is from the 75th anniversary local history book which came out in 1959.

The Rex Cafe is gone now. In its place at the prominent corner is the 125th Commemorative Park marking the town’s 125 anniversary in 2007. The park features plaques, benches, trellises, lamps and landscaping.


Once a month Pa Tuckett took his family out for Chinese food at the Rex Cafe. “It was a big change from our meat and potatoes and the closest any of us ever got to China. Very exotic,” Pa told me.

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McCullough Building, 48 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

At the end of the contiguous bricks on Main Street

The McCullough Building brings us to the end of the existing brick buildings along this block of Carberry’s Heritage District. This one-storey brick structure was constructed in the late 1890s and has served a number of family-owned grocers and butchers over the decades.

Simple and practical, this little store sits on a rubble stone foundation, has a flat roof and a high front parapet suggesting boomtown architecture.

CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 113In this picture you can see how the McCullough Building is now the anchor at the north end of the block since the Rex Cafe building was demolished. The side of the building displays the original brown-red brick of the structure.

This vintage picture – the McCullough Building is the second building from the left – reveals its original brickwork with corbelling below thecarberry main cornice, tall display windows with a multi-paned transom over the entrance and the furled fabric awning which many of the storefronts along the street used to protect against the hot afternoon sun.

For many decades, the store housed grocers including Sam Bookhalter, Tony Blair, Kotaska Brothers, Les Christopher and A Peill. It was a Solo Store for a quite a few of its years. This ad is from the local history book marking Carberry and area’s 75th Anniversary in 1959. It gives a nice history of the Blair family in business and augments the heritage aspect of the book. According to this account, the building once included the now-gone Rex Cafe to the north.


When I mentioned the Solo Store to Pa Tuckett, a small smile arose on his lips and he very quietly said, “Oranges.” I asked him to repeat. “Oranges,” he said. “I had three kids, Willie, Jane and Zeke, not Ezekiel, just Zeke, okay? They all loved oranges. You didn’t find many oranges on the dusty prairies during the 1920s and 30s but when you did, it was a little bit of heaven. This was back when Sam Bookhalter had the place, way before Solo. Sam’d send his delivery boy over to our house to say he just got a small shipment oranges in. Me and Myrt would scurry over and buy as many as we could afford which wasn’t usually many. I remember the bright eager eyes of the kids, gathered around the kitchen table, watching as I cut every orange into quarters and gave each kid one. Their little faces, wet and dribbly with juice, beamed for oranges like nothing else.”

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Wright Building, 46 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Our stroll north along Main continues.

Virtually identical to its neighbour, the Pharmacy Building, in its original look, today modern lathe and cladding obscure the similarities. Erected in late 1890s, this two-storey mixed-use building served various and sundry occupants, both commercial and residential, ever since.

carberry main

The Wright Building is third from left in this classic early shot of Main Street. The same Romanesque Revival features – corner pilasters, arched windows, corbelling and drip moulding –  abound here just like on the adjacent building.

The entrance appears to be recessed with transom window over the door and tall display windows abutting the street. The building was constructed on a stone foundation and has a one-storey shed roof addition at the rear.

An early resident of the building was Hood’s Bookstore after which it became the local library. For a number of years Haubrick, Marnoch and Scott Insurance Agencies occupied the main floor which more recently housed Linda’s Hair, Antiques and Collectibles.

An avid reader, Pa Tuckett spent many pleasant hours in Hood’s Bookstore. Pa loved the cowboy stories of western writer Will James. “Will was a very good artist as well as being a writer,” says Pa. “I especially enjoyed his illustrated novels. The American Cowboy is my favourite.”

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Pharmacy Building, 44 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Nestled among brick companions

Although known as the Pharmacy Building, 44 Main has housed a succession of professionals including doctors, dentists and pharmacists since it was built in the late 1890s. Long and narrow it fits perfectly into the row of contiguous structures from the period.


In this early picture the Pharmacy Building is fourth from the left. Hiding beneath its present metal cladding you can see the building has similar Romanesque Revival detailing as its adjacent neighbours. Continuous lines swept across the facades, corbelling dripped from the cornice, arched windows prevailed and a sense of continuity lived among the bricks.

This is a shot of the interior of the drugstore when it was owned by G. W. Walkey. 

CARBERRY0001In addition to Walkey and its current occupant, Falk Pharmacy, the building has housed many other pharmacists over the decades: Dennis McMillan, Eric Lee, Colin Barlow and H. D. Spearin.

Often updated over its decades of service, the Pharmacy Building’s facade has been modernized on the main floor and its original appearance covered with vertical metal cladding on the second storey.

Pa Tuckett’s second wife and mother of their three children, Gilda, gave birth to their second child, in this building. Here’s how Pa put it, “That was when Doc Gilbert was still around. You remember him, with the lazy eye. You never knew exactly what he was lookin’ at. Anyways, Gilda was round and ripe and doing her morning shopping on Main Street when her water broke as she was going by this building. She walked in the front door, her friend Jolene was the nurse who called Doc Gilbert and an hour later we had a beautiful baby daughter. We named her Rosalind.”

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Modern Bakery, 42 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Next along Main Street…

Modern Bakery was constructed after 1896 and retains its intricate brick detailing, adding rich Romanesque Revival qualities to the only designated Heritage District in Manitoba. While the main floor accommodates large display windows and a cut-in entrance plus access to the second floor, it is on the second storey the lovely brickwork can still be seen.

CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 121Divided into three bays separated by bold corbelled pilasters with a window in each bay, the second storey reveals several interesting brick details. The plain brick cornice surmounts an area of indented bricks forming an appealing pattern across each bay. Below that is some delicate corbelling and a stringcourse of dog toothing. Each of the three windows has segmental arches with a keystone and drip moulding, their sills roughcarberry main limestone.

In this vintage picture of the street, the bakery is the fifth building from the left. You can see it once sported a tall prominent  parapet and elaborate cornice at the top of the first floor.

The building as long served Carberry as a bakery and cafe run by several families including the Cricks, Appels and Alders.

Pa Tuckett remembers the giant gooey cinnamon buns the bakery made. “You could smell them halfway down the block. Best advertising they had. And a pretty decent cup of joe to go with them.”

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Forbes Building, 40 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

More built heritage along Carberry’s main drag.

Going by the brick detailing on the second floor facade, the Forbes Building and its neighbouring Kowalchuk Block are twin sisters linked at the adjoining wall. Design elements, such as the drip moulding,  American bond, corbelling and segmental arches above the windowsCARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 125 are shared by both buildings.

Notice the delicate wood frame detail between and above the individual panes.

The main floor is attractive with its recessed entrance surrounded by large display windows below a series of transoms. I suspect the entrance to its second floor is next door at the Kowalchuk Block.

CARBERRY OCTOBER PICTURES 124The Forbes Building, erected in late 1890s, served as commercial home to two long-time Carberry businesses. Funeral directors  J. B. Davey and Son were early occupants. Carberry Radio-Electric inhabited the space for a number of decades.

Pa Tuckett bought his first TV at Carberry Radio-Electric. “It was 1961 when I decided TV wasn’t just a fad. The roof antennae blew off three times in the first year.”

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Kowalchuk Block, 38 Main Street, Carberry, MB


Reid Dickie

Another mixed use heritage delight in Manitoba’s only designated heritage district.

Set on a stone foundation, this fine red brick building complements and enhances the heritage value of this side of Carberry’s Main Street. Built in late 1890s at the same time as its neighbours, the first floor accommodates businesses and the second floor provides apartments.

Set in American bond, as is its northern neighbour, the Forbes Building, the Kowalchuk Block combines red and buff brick for detailing, and sports interesting corner pilasters, segmented arched upper windows with drip moulding in buff brick and corbelling under the cornice.

The first floor has large bright display windows and an attractive recessed doorway along with access to the second floor.

Quido Garro, one of Pa Tuckett’s long time friends,  lived in an apartment in this building in the 1920s. Pa remembers knocking back plenty of home brew with Quido. “He knew the best bootleggers and hooch makers within twenty five miles in every direction. Don’t get me wrong. I cherished his friendship, too.”

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News Express Building, 34 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Fine red brick on Main Street

Reid Dickie

Next along the street a fine red brick!

In 1896, a huge fire swept away ten businesses and residences along Carberry’s Main Street, necessitating rebuilding the street. In the late 1890s, around the time as the adjoining buildings, the News Express building was constructed.

Composed of a one-storey and a two-storey structure, the place has long been known as the home of the Carberry News Express. However, in an early incarnation, the two-storey section was a Merchant’s Bank which was later absorbed by the Bank of Montreal. The one-storey structure was a pool hall and barber shop for a number of years.

Its standard red brick design with some detailing adds to the heritageSecond floor brick detailing flavour along this densely-packed side of Main Street. On the two-storey section, the bricks, set in American bond where every fifth row is a header, provide the place’s decorative flair. The indented design on the cornice pediment, the corbelling just under the cornice, the raised drip mounding and the segmental arches over the pairs of windows account for the detailing. The wooden cornice along the first floor suggests the original look of the facade. The corbelling links the two Brick detail on one-storeystructures aesthetically.

The one-storey detail and brickwork is somewhat cruder which could be from the original workmanship or subsequent maintenance. The corbelling is present but not very accomplished. The diagonal two-brick corner brackets in uplift brick is a rare touch.

An integral part of the social life of young Carberry, the pool hall attracted Pa Tuckett a time or two. He says, “I got to be pretty good at the billiards table. Never good enough to hustle anyone but I won my share of games and bets on games.”

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Moon Apartments, 30 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Moon Apartments

Reid Dickie

In the exposed brickwork lives visible heritage.

Continuous rows of original 1890s brick buildings are exceedingly rare in Manitoba making the existing ones precious. Carberry boasts one of the best! Seven buildings with second-storey brickwork largely intact and completely visible comprise most of the block and Moon Apartments certainly adds to the heritage value.

This two-storey brick building, built in late 1890s, has served the community well with mixed uses and functions, both commercial and residential. Currently the ground floor features two storefronts with large display windows and access to the apartments above.

As visible on the second floor, the street facade offers a symmetrical three-bay structure divided by shallow brick pilasters. Employing Classical design elements, the facade dances with expressive Detail of second floor brickworkornamentation, achieved using masonry techniques. This picture of the middle window shows the various details. Starting with the simple flat brick cornice and the two-stepped corbels beneath it. The indented row and the dog toothed course run below. The tall second floor windows are accentuated with a continuous stringcourse of drip moulding (raised brick) and capped with radiating headers and smooth stone sills. Spread across the three bays, the moderate brickwork enlivens the whole building.

The building has been known by several names – Robertson Block, Natural Wellness Centre, Moon Block – and housed a multitude of commercial tenants and residents over the decades.

After Amelia, his wife of less than a year, died of the Spanish flu in 1918, Pa Tuckett sold their bungalow on Dufferin Street and moved into the Robertson Block, as it was then known. Rent was $7 a month for a furnished room. In apartment #3, Pa mourned his lost love.

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C.V.M. Cafe, 24 Main Street, Carberry, MB

CVM Cafe in Carberry

Reid Dickie

Crossing the street now, we explore the heritage wonders to be found on the east side of Carberry’s historic Main Street.

Starting at the south end of Main Street on the east side, today we find a modern Bank of Montreal and another new building housing an insurance office. These buildings occupy the area where the Western Hotel stood for many decades. The hotel was torn down in the early 1970s and a Chimo Lumberyard operated by Gerry Anderson was built on the site.

Victoria Hall Block on right front.

The parking lot next door was originally the site of the long demolished Victoria Hall Block which is the three-storey building in the picture above.

Long view of CVM Cafe and its position on the street.The next surviving heritage building houses C.V.M. Cafe which came into being during the Second World War. The cafe is named for its three original owners: A. R. Calvert, V. H. Vopni and M. P. Menlove. The place later became a Chinese restaurant operated by the Kwan Yuen family.

Beneath the unattractive blue vertical cladding is a brown-red brickCVM facade structure built in the late 1890s that represents typical commercial facilities of the time. Highly visible at the south end of the row of brick buildings, the narrow, two-storey rectangular form of brick construction with flat roof has been expanded and modified over the years. Other functional features include the off-centre entrance on the ground floor and the trio of second floor windows.

CARBERRY0002Pa Tuckett recalls spending many an hour jawing with the other retired old boys over a coffee at the C.V.M. “You could always count on at least one other bullshitter to be there,” Pa said.

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Curiosity and Gratitude – 2012 Year-End Review

Reid Dickie

If I had to choose two words that describe my year, curiosity and gratitude come to mind. Regular readers of this blog know I have an insatiable curiosity that lures me to out-of-the-way, little-known places on the prairies and causes me to investigate and report on what I find there. Whatever form the journey takes and whatever I find at its end, expected and unexpected, are always causes for gratitude.

The Road

Once again I rented an Avenger from Enterprise Car Rental and followed my summer wanderlust, all 23,000 kms of it. My friend Troy and I ventured into Saskatchewan for a couple of days exploring sacred sites. The rest of my travel was done in Manitoba, mostly Blooming pincushion cactus at Spirit Sandschasing my heritage geekness, rooting out heritage sites and doing documentation. Southeastern Manitoba and north of Dauphin, two areas of the province I wasn’t familiar with, supplied a wealth of new heritage sites. This is my picture of a pincushion cactus in bloom on the trail to Spirit Sands.

I was more prepared than ever for my heritage tours, doing thorough pre-travel research, planning itineraries and making arrangements for access and interviews at various spots along the way. I documented about ninety heritage sites this year, wrote and produced videos about many of them and still have a backlog of new ones for posting and uploading in 2013.

For a 49 second video clip of the map of Manitoba with my 2012 roads marked, click the pic.

When my heritage list was cleared, I hiked to Spirit Sands in Spruce Woods Park about 30 times this year. I was able to introduce friends, both new and old, to the marvels of the park, especially Spirit Sands. ISpruce near trailhead yurted at Spruce Woods Park in June and August, both enjoyable experiences and ones I’d recommend for the almost-camper. Easy, inexpensive (take some friends) and fun. During my June stay at the yurt, I hiked into Spirit Sands just at sundown on the full moon. My post about the hike is called Gathering Moonlight at Spruce Woods Park.

Another hang-out of mine this year was the Criddle Vane Homestead which I have documented in several different ways including my 11:30 video tour of the site. Coming in 2013 another video and a post about this heritage site and the people who lived there.

Best Heritage Experiences

Two sites stood out this year, providing unique and very dissimilar experiences. Carberry, a little town just off the TCH east of Brandon, is a Manitoba heritage gem! Two blocks of Carberry’s Main Street have been officially deemed a heritage district, the only one in Manitoba. The concentration of well-preserved brick buildings constructed before and after 1900 earned the street the designation. I documented the street thoroughly and posted reports on all the individual heritageEast side of Carberry's Main Street buildings on the west side of the street, sixteen in all. The east side of Main Street is in the works for 2013 along with a video of the street. This picture shows some of the east side brick buildings which will be featured on my blog in the coming months.

The other enthralling heritage site is Negrych Pioneer Homestead, north of Gilbert Plains between Riding and Duck Mountains. Ten original log buildings from the 1890s and the equipment the family used, all of it fashioned from materials available on their farm, make this the best preserved Ukrainian pioneer homestead in North America! Lovingly preserved and maintained, the
site provides summer student guides who are knowledgeable and very empathetic to the Negrych family and their lives in the bush. The
Bunkhouse plus on Negrych homestead remoteness of the location, the complexity of the site and the attention to detail created a deep understanding of the hardships and the glories of early pioneer life. This bunkhouse with long shingle Carpathian roof is an iconic image from the Negrych farm. I am working on a video and feature article about the homestead.

Best Online Heritage Experience

The website for the Manitoba Historical Society is the best online resource I have found for referencing anything about Manitoba’s past. There is nothing that compares to it for its wealth of current details about heritage sites of all kinds, in-depth background on our history and people, and overall accuracy of the information. I have referred to it hundreds of times in my research. A major aspect to the website and a gargantuan project is an interactive map with over 4,000 Manitoba historic sites just a click away! Yes, 4,000 sites! I have a few hundred heritage sites on this blog and feel I’m getting things done. The 4,000 is the work of the MHS webmaster Gordon Goldsborough, a fellow heritage seeker who also likes heading out for a few days and gleaning every piece of heritage he can find, taking pictures, gathering information and GPS co-ordinates, all of which wind up on the website. Gord is much more successful at this than I am. Secretly, I get a little thrill on the very rare occasions when I discover a heritage site that Gord hasn’t already visited and posted on the MHS map! At all other times, I am in total awe of his work. Thank you Gord, for your integrity and determination. Links: MHS website and historic sites map.


I added 55 new videos to my YouTube channel this year, many of them with some kind of heritage angle, all of them original, bringing the total to over 170 videos. Heritage churches accounted for 13 new videos, heritage houses for 6, trains going by (I’m a train fan!) for 6, the rest on sundry topics. This month I exceeded 61,000 hits on the channel in the two years of its existence. I am humbled and grateful. Thank you for watching.

Here is a new video from my summer travels. Come on Along the Road with Reid and visit 12 Manitoba places in 5 minutes.


Two books, both loaned to me by dear friends, offered explanations for some deep and old mysteries this year. The Old Way The Old Way of Seeingof Seeing: How Architecture Lost Its Magic (And How To Get It Back) by architect Jonathan Hale clarified why some buildings appeal and seem to sing while others are disharmonious and ordinary. The secret is the Golden Section, the system most architects working before 1840 used to create human spaces, spaces that resonated with our bodies and spirits. I started to use Hale’s schematics on heritage buildings of all kinds to determine if the Golden Section was employed or not and discovered subtle and essential qualities that empathetic places all have. Published in 1994, the book is still available. Thank you Vonda.

The other book, Falling Into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering by Adyashanti suggests another old way of seeing…with the spirit. If you are openly looking with love in your heart, other Old Souls joinadyashanti you on your journey and you on theirs. Within minutes of reading the opening pages of this book, I knew I was in the presence of not just an Old Soul, but someone who is reincarnated by choice, a man with a spiritual mission. He knows stuff we all can benefit from knowing. The initial simple idea of “They are only thoughts” led to recognizing the illusion of having any kind of control over anything to finally following Spirit’s invitation. Very often our paths crossed, the words are different but the experiences described flow from one source only. A book that tells the truth. Thank you Garcea.


It is just over three years since I lost Linda, my soul mate, to cancer. I now feel more accepting of her death due, in part, to the time that has
passed but also because of dear and loving friends. Adyashanti’s book helped me take large strides towards acceptance, giving me
Linda at IF in 1980sperspective on my suffering and offering simple methods to get out of my own way and help myself, to “fall into grace.” Thoughtful phone calls, chance encounters and many long coffees with friends have given me healing opportunities for which I am enormously grateful. Linda’s message to me is still “be happy.” This picture of smiling Linda was taken in the 1980s at our vintage clothing store called IF you have to get dressed in the morning…

Ezra Reid Scholl

Regular readers of my blog will recognize the name of my longtime friend Chris Scholl. For over a dozen years Chris and I have helped each other through many difficult life changes and we’ve celebrated our successes, too. We have traveled the prairie together, visited sacred places and made pacts with Nature together. We’ve become family. Chris and his beautiful partner Megan had a full moon baby boy in October. To my complete amazement, they named the boy after me – Ezra Reid Scholl! (just the Reid part.) For an intentionally-childless guy like me, I was, and still am, overwhelmed knowing I Ezra at 6 weekshave a namesake in the world. More than a metaphor, the first image that came to me was Ezra is “a tunnel into the future.” I explore so many tunnels into the past that having one going in the other direction flummoxed me for awhile but I am starting to find language for him now. He is six weeks old in this picture. I am so grateful to Megan and Chris for their loving gesture, for adding a fresh and unexpected dimension to my life resulting in a brand new kind of joy for me.  As only an innocent new-born can, Ezra helped me bear my grief at its most intense. The Christmas season was more real to me this year. I am humbled and happy to express my gratitude to a little child.

Wouldn’t you know, Ezra already comes with philosophy! Now just over two moons old, Ezra has grown and changed so much. When I think of the changes ahead of him, I smile. All those changes can be viewed on Ken Wilber’s Map of the Evolution of our Consciousness. Read from bottom up. Ezra is lolling in the primary matrix right now, undifferentiated from the world around him but just itching to climb as far up the ladder as he can. Soon he’ll start differentiating himself from the world. Such as? Noticing the difference between biting the blanket and biting his thumb or – in grandly-hewn Wilberese – “the hatching of the physical self.”

Ken Wilber's map

The Lonesomes: Sixteen Prairie Stories

Strange births and strange deaths and the lives lived in between on the Canadian prairies. Stirred by the forsaken tumbledown farmhouses and barns, rusting farm equipment and lonely places they abandoned to the prairie wind, the voices of the pioneers and their descendants tell their poignant tales. Farm folk recall their struggles against the elements. Town folk recount interpersonal conflicts and complexities. There is no music but for the lonesome prairie wind. A beautiful dance of sadness and joy ensues.

When you drive down a country road and see a lonesome old farmhouse, sun-baked and tumbling down, or a broken-down rusty half ton on a rise or an abandoned red barn, don’t you wonder what happened in those places, to those things? Maybe you even start making up stories about them. That’s what I did. I found sixteen such places on the prairies and let their stories arise in my imagination. The Lonesomes is the result!

A forty-seven minute docudrama eighteen months in the making, The Lonesomes is a creative extension of my interest in heritage. The sixteen original stories, ranging in length from one to Image from The Lonesomesfive minutes, span more than a century of history, roughly 1890 to 2005, from pioneers opening the harsh prairie and early railroading to second and third generations living complex lives in small towns and villages. The stories tell of the desperate births of people, towns and ideas, mysterious barns, trickery, magical windmills, memories of machinery, revenge and bizarre deaths.

The Lonesomes is a place where rusty old farm equipment suddenly spouts poetry, where the blue vastness of the prairie sky frightens a woman to death, where an innocent red barn is revealed as the scene of an old mystery, where a defeated small-town mayor sheepishly tellsBarn from The Lonesomes his odorous story, where two retired telephone operators have a chance encounter with life-changing results and where a pair of long-abandoned grain elevators have a wonderful dream.

I hired professional actors to voice the roles and recorded them at state-of-the-art Video Pool Studios. The sound quality is exceptional thanks to Michel Germain, an extraordinary audio engineer. The actors brought their best game to The Lonesomes. I’m thrilled to have my characters brought to life so thoroughly, so convincingly.

I shot all the images in HD digital myself. Visually The Lonesomes ranges from subtly changing still life to montage to live action always suggesting the location where the story occurs. The images are simple; the raw, explicit stories blow through them like the restless prairie wind.

This is much bigger than my YouTube stuff. Since I have a financial investment in it, I’ll explore the commercial potential of the piece. My plan is to market The Lonesomes in several ways. The options are many: from apps to E-books, on-demand TV to film festivals. I will keep you apprised. It’s a little too early for a preview but stay tuned to a blog near you.

Particular Posts

Another year of posts done, about 180 in all, covering the length and breadth of my interests. These are some of my best posts of the year with links to the original articles.


Early in the year I started my reporting on Carberry and its unique heritage position in Manitoba. An example is this incredible
Canadian government postergingerbread house built by James White. Starting in the late 1800s, the Canadian government advertised free land in the west to fill up the newly acquired North West Territories  I created the TV commercial for their ad campaign. If you think Winnipeg’s current mayor is a sleazebag, he’s carrying on a well-established tradition begun by our first mayor, Francis Cornish. Find out what I mean.


I reported on another bit of Carberry heritage – their vintage Louis Riel statueoctagonal agricultural display building. A rarity in Manitoba. On the 20th, Louis Riel Day,  I celebrated the day with two posts about the two Louis Riel statues that have had prominent places in Winnipeg. First statue, second statue. I ended our leap year with the first of several posts about Manitoba Heritage Under Duress, showing a couple of examples of damaged and disappeared sites.


Early in the month I posted a piece I had written a few months after my double-bypass heart surgery in 2002. The palpable power of an online prayer circle that formed around me for the surgery aiding the success of the procedure and speeding my healing afterwards is recounted in Nothing Virtual About It. On the 15th, in a grateful post called Lucky, Very Lucky, I wrote about the pattern of luck that has shaped my life. Last winter I watched a series of documentaries from the library and reported on four excellent ones – Gasland, Buck, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Catfish. I recommend them all highly. I Bruce's first albuminadvertently created one of the most popular posts when I wrote about Bruce Springsteen’s first two albums. Included with my thoughts on his music was a highly revealing photograph of a young, mostly naked Bruce taken by Lynn Goldsmith. Now when anyone searches springsteen naked, which happens surprisingly often, they find my post. I’ll bet one or two have even read the article. The post is called Forcing a Light, one of my best titles.To end the month, in case you missed memo, I posted a short video on why it’s called a combine.


The month began with a report on my beloved Spruce Woods Park Kevin Richardson kissing a lionand its state after the snow. This is the first of many park reports over the summer. It is love. That’s the only explanation for this amazing relationship between a man and 38 lions, a video I reposted from the internet. It will make your day. I posted about another great documentary called Waste Land – turning garbage into art. The Manitoba Escarpment, a geological step upward as you proceed west across the prairies, offers some spectacular views of the old lake bed below. One is at newly created Alexander Ridge Park near Miami, MB.  On the 15th, I posted Convergence – 35 Years Ago Today.  It commemorated the day Linda and I moved into a little house on Lorette Avenue – our first home together. We stayed there a couple of years. The house is gone now but not the Super 8 I shot out its front window.


Reports from the road started in earnest this month as my summer travels got underway  The Fort La Reine Museum on the east side of Portage la Prairie is a terrific museum. I hiked the Spirit Sands in Spruce Woods Park about 30 times last summer and Hoary puccoon along the trail to Spirit Sandsdid two reports this month: the first about the park’s recovery from the floods of 2011, and the second post on my hikes so far. We’ll take any excuse for a long weekend in Canada and Victoria Day is a prime example. I explain why we celebrate the day. I suppose it’s because of its general outrageousness, but this Email from an Old Friend draws views for all kinds of reasons.


I started my posts about one of Manitoba’s heritage gems, Carberry One fine Carberry buildingand the turn-of-the-century buildings lining its main drag. The first three buildings on the street are here, here and here. In an early report from along the road, I covered a drive I took up to Dauphin and beyond. I did a report on an alluvial fan which has garnered a surprising number of views. People wanna know! I ended the month with something for armchair engineers – chug chug chug.


I kicked off the month with another report from the road, this time
Trinity of light in aisle of a churchfrom a tour through southwestern Manitoba including Spirit Sands and Brandon. In July I reported on six more of the fine old buildings along Carberry’s Main Street. The best way to access all my reports is to choose Carberry in the categories. A provocative title about what happens after death caught some views thanks to Dr. Kenneth Ring.


Two trains and two trestle bridges provided some excellent video as did my exploration of two bridges, one trestle, one swinging, over the Structural support for swinging bridge over RoseauRoseau River. Another road report from southern Manitoba including Miniota, Hartney and Spruce Woods Park. The dog days of summer found me reporting from southeast of Winnipeg. A veteran thrift store haunter, I celebrated the 40th anniversary of MCCs (Mennonite Central Committee) thrift stores. Based on years of seeking out and exploring often remote heritage sites, I make some observations in a post called Sex and the Solitary Heritage Site.


My reports from Carberry continued this month and I also wrote about heritage sites that have been lost for various reasons. I repostedThe staircase that killed Percy Criddle my Map of Dying from the Tibetan Book of the Dead followed by two more road reports. The first offers interesting pictures from here and there; the second has a dozen pictures from around the province with my short write-ups. Language always fascinates me and the hobo code, a series of symbols that transients in the first half of the 20th century created, resulted in a popular video. I explored a spooky old house inside and out, resulting in another original video.


The appeal of ruins along the road was expressed in several original Wooden statue of Katerivideos including one called Portals to the Past, which combines live images with harrowing sounds. My curiosity about language found me exploring Diner Slang, food to the nth degree. I wrote about two more buildings in Carberry’s heritage district this month. Things to do along the road included Reid’s Roadside Junk, which meant filling a small box with highly miscellaneous items and leaving it somewhere out there, all documented on video, of course. On the 20th, I wrote about the impending canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha in the context of Leonard Cohen’s second novelBeautiful Losers, in which she is a central character.


I elaborated on a post I found online about Friendship, adding a few items gathered from my life. Desperate for free stuff to fill the ever-increasing white space between their ads, the Winnipeg Free Press ran the Friendship post in their Sunday edition as blog of the week. Later in the month I posted a piece about digital executors and new forms of memorializing yourself after death called Log Off in Peace – Cyber Wills and the Virtual Beyond.


In a repost from the internet, which I called Mayo = Life, a succinct explanation of our basic empty awareness ensues. I celebrated the second anniversary of this blog on the 11th. As the year ends, the blog’s view count is more than 182,000 in just over two years. Thank you one and all! The tradition of the 12 Days of Christmas began in the 14th, this year heritage churches and houses alternated daily until Christmas.

The Future

The immediate future will see 31 short absurd videos – one a day, every day, like a pill, throughout January. The series called Sorry Notes to the Future starts January 1st. I plan to kick back in January, let the blog ride with Sorry Notes and focus on some other projects I’ve been putting off. Thereafter, expect more heritage reports from this year’s travels and loads more of the other guff you’ve come to expect from RRR.

I wish you only happiness in 2013 and may you awaken each day with this kind of determination in your spirit.


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Filed under Heritage Buildings, Linda, Manitoba Heritage, Year-end Review 2012