Tag Archives: heritage district

Carberry Walking Tour Guide Book – My Labour of Love

COVER scan0002

Reid Dickie

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 linreid@mts.net. 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.


Filed under Carberry, Manitoba, MB History

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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Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage

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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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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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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Sid’s Garage, 135 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

Set back from the street, this antique store is the next point of interest in Manitoba’s only designated Heritage District.

In 1931, Alf Lounsbury came to Carberry and worked as a mechanic alongside Pa Tuckett. Pa has fond memories of Alf. “He was ambitious, you know, he could see himself standing in the middle of his own garage with big showroom windows and every car part you would ever need. And that’s where Alf wound up, in the middle of his dream. He was a success.”

Alf Lounsbury, the real guy, operated the first Bituminous Paver in the area which was used on old Hwy #1 from Carberry to Brandon.  Today we call the road PR 351. Alf later worked for Manitoba Hydro. Alf rented the B.A. Service Station next to Barrister’s Garage in Carberry. Then he bought the building, tore it down and built his dream garage. That was 1949. Alf ran it for 33 years before selling it to Sid Parker, when it became Sid’s Texaco Service and garnered its new and present name.

This early picture of the garage shows its basic utilitarian design: two large service doors and two large showroom windows bracket the central entrance. It appears Alf sold White Rose gasoline.

In the post-war years, people gained personal mobility and the age of the automobile began changing the landscape, not the least of which were filling stations and garages to feed and service the growing number of cars and trucks. Alf’s low-slung, one-storey building suited this purpose well as did hundreds of others of similar design across the country.

Adaptable, today Sid’s Garage houses a very good antique store called Off Beat n Antiques that’s worth the 3 km drive off the Trans Canada Highway to visit.

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Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Waters Block, 125 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

Our stroll down the main drag of Carberry in our hunt for heritage goodness arrives at the Waters Block.

This unpretentious workaday building came into view on Carberry’s streetscape in 1901. The Waters Block is a two-storey commercial property that has housed more than two dozen businesses over the decades. Its rectangular form, enclosed in brick walls and with a flat roof, is wide and deep, substantial and practical.

The simple facade has corner pilasters that frame the face. The lower level divides into two separate storefronts, each with large welcoming display windows and its own indented entrance. Between them is the second floor entrance. Three symmetrical windows open from the second floor. I couldn’t locate any earlier pictures of this building so one is left to wonder what brick delights are hidden beneath the metal cladding on the second floor.

On this side view you can see the original two bay design of the side walls with small windows which are repeated on both sides. The visible wall, on the south side, has been altered so as to obscure the pilasters. You can see the building steps down into a one-storey at the rear. The place’s simple and humble design features are appropriate and make their own quiet contributions to the designated heritage district.

It was built by James Wellington McCrae to house his implement dealership which he’d opened in Carberry in 1882. A native of Ontario, McCrae had homesteaded nearby before changing occupations. He served on Carberry Town Council and was reeve of the R. M. of North Cypress. Though the place no longer bears his name, it stands as one of James McCrae’s more durable contributions to the growth of Carberry.

In its century plus of housing local business, the interior of the Waters Block has been frequently modified to accommodate numerous uses. Among its residents have been car dealers, hardware merchants, clubs, residential tenants, farm implement dealers and numerous shops and services.

In 1961, a chap named McRorie opened a Macleod’s Hardware Store in the building, which it remained for several decades. In 1963 William Waters bought the hardware business and ran it for 17 years, thus the building acquired it current moniker.

Pa Tuckett does not have fond memories of the block, he tells me as a tear rolls away from his right eye. He remembers back to 1918 and the Spanish flu epidemic. People were warned to stay indoors and avoid contact with others. The first flu wave in late summer hadn’t been as dangerous as expected in the Carberry area. Sure, people died but not like was predicted. The second wave in the fall posed even less danger. Pa celebrates again the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. “Armistice Day! Everybody was real happy the war was over and won. People just wanted to celebrate despite the warnings to stay at home. The town had a big party and most everyone showed up, thinking the worst of the epidemic had passed. Well, most of it had passed,” says Pa. “But for one couple who’d come from away. They infected half the folk at that party including my beautiful Amelia. She died three days later.” At the time, Bloomingfield’s Mortuary was located in the Waters Block. Pa’s last mental picture of Amelia is of her laying in her coffin, her ashen face against a shiny blue pillow. “We hadn’t even been married one year.” Another tear.

What’s this Carberry series all about?


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Public Washroom, 113 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Need a little shelter from the storm? Or just a clean washroom? Ummm…this stop on our trip down Carberry’s Memory Lane might be worth forgetting.

Reid Dickie

Yeah, I’m including this building in the series because some heritage geeks feel it adds to the heritage character of Carberry’s main drag. I agree. It could…if it was maintained. I visited the men’s room in the public washroom in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012 and it was filthy both times! I mean so dirty and unkept that I walked out without using it! Come on Carberry! If you are going to tout this brick shed as part of your heritage district then take some pride. Your ancestors certainly would have run it better.

As grungy as it is, Carberry’s Public Washroom, which was built in 1983, stems from the long and benevolent tradition of comfort stations in small towns. Most prairie towns had a comfort station, often administered and run by The Women’s Institute, an organization that, before the days of easy communication, supplied country women with the latest home-making ideas including childcare, recipes, food preparation and storage.

In the times of early town building there were no service stations or restaurants with public access to washrooms so the comfort station was a boon to women traveling into town, perhaps in a buggy over rough trails or on foot with babes in arms, and needing a place to rest, relax and clean up. Comfort stations were sometimes referred to as “the most humane institution in the village” Additionally, they satisfied the need for female companionship, sharing and self-respect. Some comfort stations offered coffee, small meals and even lending libraries to their patrons.

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The Style Shop, 41 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

The next stop on Carberry’s Main Street is a commercial space.

Still known as The Style Shop, this modest storefront has accommodated numerous and sundry businesses since it was built around 1900. Typical of one-storey facilities in small rural towns, The Style Shop building offers utilitarian form and an easily adapted interior space at a prime location nestled between Switzer’s Red and White and Ray’s Diner. Its rectangular design has a sloped flat roof and recessed entrance with flanking display windows. Originally a red brick building, these details have been stuccoed over and much of the heritage remains hidden under the refacing. This colour picture shows the old place with its refaced facade. It had ornate brick work similar to its neighbours. 

Over the decades the building has housed merchants Jones and Dundas, milliner Mrs. English, a bakery run by Webb and Green, a grocery owned by T. D. Stickle (the building was known as the Stickle Block for some years) and a restaurant operated by Lee Low.

When Pa Tuckett married Amelia Lusk in Carberry on a hot day in late August 1918, the beautiful bride was wearing a hat specially designed for her by Mrs. English who ran her millinery out of this spot. 

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Switzer’s Red and White Store, 39 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

The next building in our jaunt through Manitoba’s only Heritage District – Carberry’s Main Street

Its original brickwork is caked over, a modest updating changed the windows and the entrance and smoothed away its character and history but the little space, known generationally as Switzer’s Red and White Store, adds its own reverberation to Carberry’s Historic Main Street.

This one-storey utilitarian storefront has housed numerous businesses, including implement dealers, butchers, grocers and furniture dealers since its construction around 1900. Similar in size and style to its neighbours – The Style Shop and Ray’s Diner –  Switzer’s is typical of the type of adaptable and practical commercial buildings that sprang up all over rural Manitoba in its town building days.

In this picture from Carberry’s early days, you can see the brick facade of Switzer’s and its adjoining neighbours.

Pa Tuckett told me about Gregor, short for Gregorian, Mason who ran a butcher shop in this building. He said Mason was the best butcher he ever met, always did clean, safe and fast work and still had all his fingers after two decades wielding the saw and the blade. “That’s the sign of a good butcher,” Pa said.

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Nelson Butt Building, 31 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

The fifth heritage building along the main drag is a beaut!

Although similar to its neighbour, the Murphy Block, the Nelson Butt Building makes a striking impression along Carberry’s Main Street, Manitoba’s only Heritage District, due to its distinctive design, use of colour and lack of alternation. Joseph R. Thompson built both these commercial establishments; the Butt Building was erected about 1896 and over the decades housed a variety of businesses including law offices, a bank and a butcher shop. In its early days it was called the Joseph Thompson Building. The place earned its present name by being home to the jewellery store of Nelson J. Butt from 1946 until 1992.

The streetview of the building is a symmetrical dance of depth where brick arc and wood angle sway and commingle in sweet baths of white or red, figure and ground. The dancing balance is embodied in the superb stepped corbelling along and below the cornice, enlightened by large display windows that bare and entice, sidelights and transoms in the recessed entry which promises unknown delights within.  Three sensuous white arches pride the roofline and the two pairs of second floor windows. In this early picture you can see the front elevation is virtually the same today as it was when it was constructed 116 years ago.

 A little tearfully, Pa Tuckett recalls the first time he set eyes on Amelia Lusk, a teller at the bank that once occupied the Butt Building. She was new in town, from Souris, and had raven hair that shone in all kinds of light, almond-shaped pale grey eyes with thick lashes and a reluctant smile. She took Pa’s breath away and left him trembling and speechless at the wicket, unsure what to do with his paycheque for $14.42. It was 1917. They got married a year later.


Filed under Carberry, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage

Murphy Block, 29 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

This is number four in the series on Carberry’s historic Main Street.

The Murphy Block, so named because it was owned and/or occupied by two of the area’s most prominent and successful businessmen: the Murphy Brothers, Gabriel B. and William George, was built by merchant Joseph R. Thompson in 1886. One of Carberry’s oldest business facilities, the Murphy Block stands as an excellent example of early prairie commercial buildings. Built of brick with a rubble-stone foundation, its practical two-storey rectangular design with a flat roof and recessed front entrance made for a solid, attractive and serviceable location.

Meshing splendidly with neighbouring buildings, the block still sports something close to its original first floor facade. The simple wood and glass storefront offers large display windows with transoms, double doors with early hardware and a separate second floor entrance. Older pictures of Carberry’s Main Street reveal that behind the ugly cladding you see today on the second floor of the Murphy Block may still remain two beautifully arched windows and some fine corbelling along the cornice.

Pa Tuckett remembers that during the time W.G. operated his department store in the Murphy Block, there was a young woman named Edithina working as a cashier in the store. Pa recalls how pretty she was and that he was sweet on her but every time he asked her out, she refused. Pa never knew why.

The site also served as a hardware store run by Richard Wilkie and Errol Berry and, more recently, a fabric store called BP Fabrics. Today, though not an actual store, the two front windows are packed with someone’s interesting personal collection of antiques and collectibles.

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Charlie Sear Building, 19-21 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

This is part two of our stroll up one side and down the other of Carberry’s Main Street, Manitoba’s only Heritage District.

When he began working at Sear’s Garage in Carberry, Pa Tuckett was just a lad of eighteen. He started out as a “mechanically-inclined grease monkey” and wound up being “the best mechanic for fifty miles.” Pa always said one of the best parts of the job was going to work in the great building that local contractor and entrepreneur James White had built between 1903 and 1905.

Located prominently on a double lot on Carberry’s Main Street, the Romanesque Revival style Charlie Sear Building makes a striking contribution to Manitoba’s only Heritage District. Large and elegantly imposing, the brick two-storey building on a stone foundation was designed specifically to distribute and service farm machinery and vehicles and provide commercial space to other businesses. Besides Sear’s Garage, several businesses and agencies have inhabited the place over the decades including Reilly’s Hardware, Plumbing and Electrical Supplies, Spirit Sands Support Service, Home Hardware and Central Garage. 

The place sports many attractive exterior elements, not the least of which is a gorgeous street elevation. The front facade’s symmetrical second floor features several defining elements of Romanesque Revival style. These include the three large arched openings with keystones surmounting pairs of windows, the corbelled and arcaded cornice with a central arcaded pediment, the corner pilasters with raised capitals and the horizontal banding accentuated by rusticated stone window sills. The tiny off-centre window is a curious anomaly to the otherwise balanced facade.

Unfortunately the appearance of the Sear Building we see today is a muted phantom of its original grandeur. Somewhere in its 110 year history the workmanship and decorative detailing of the brickwork was severely obscured by a covering of plaster. This archival picture of the building shows its original design and beautiful detailing. Instead of sharp-edged brick elements that jump out, today we get an almost adobe feeling from the place, fuzzy and bulbous. In my picture of the front and side of the building, you can see some covering is falling off revealing red bricks beneath.

Nonetheless, the Charlie Sear Building is one more reason for heritage buffs to visit Carberry this year. The living, changing history of Carberry is written large and lovingly, not just on Main Street, but all over the little town and its outskirts.  I have posted often about the area’s heritage aspects which you can access on this blog by selecting Carberry from my Categories menu. Happy heritaging!

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Nelson Hotel, 9 Main Street, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

As promised, here is the first post in my series about buildings in Carberry’s Heritage District – two blocks of the town’s Main Street.

Pa Tuckett remembers stepping off the westbound CPR Night Flier in Carberry at three in the morning in 1912, the sky speckled with constellations and, there, across the street from the station, glowing huge in the full moon, a welcoming site – the Nelson Hotel.

Today, the Carberry railway station is gone, freight trains still ply the line regularily, passenger trains don’t, but the hotel is still there. Now it’s called the Carberry Motor Inn. A three-storey brick anchor in a prominent location at the south end of Main Street, the Nelson Hotel was the most hospitable place in town after it was built  in 1909. Set flush to the Main Street sidewalk, the Nelson maintains an air of security with its flat roof, symmetrical facades and imposing bulk. Study the placement of the windows for a moment to get a sense of their unusual rhythm. The lone front entrance flanked by large awninged windows interacts playfully with the upper windows.

Somewhere between being called the Nelson Hotel and Carberry Motor Inn, the place was known as the Royal Alexander Hotel. Travel has changed from trains to personal vehicles and so did the hotel. Today Carberry Motor Inn also includes a one-storey, L-shaped motel next to the old place.

As part of Manitoba’s first Heritage District, the Nelson Hotel remains a conspicuous reminder of the hope and change early pioneers brought with them. And it’s just one of dozens of reasons for heritage buffs to visit Carberry.

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Filed under Accommodations, Carberry, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Carberry – Manitoba Heritage Gem!

Reid Dickie

Most prairie towns in Manitoba have experienced ongoing physical renewal over the last 130 years with older commercial and residential buildings burned or torn down and replaced with new structures. The faces of Main Streets all over the province are in continuous flux. Exceptions to this process are rare and precious and one in particular stands out – Carberry, Manitoba

Located 42 kms east of Brandon and three kms south of the Trans Canada Highway, Carberry bucked the typical raze-and-build trend of most small towns and proudly retained most of its original brick and mortar architecture from its formative years in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Because of this, Carberry has garnered the distinction of having Manitoba’s first and, so far, only Heritage District. Designated by the provincial heritage people, two blocks of the town’s Main Street comprise the district, which includes 28 buildings, all of them deemed significant for their architectural and historical value. It’s a little slice of heritage heaven.

As a bit of a teaser, this shot shows one section of Carberry’s Main Street – a continuous row of original brick buildings sporting the elaborate decorative brickwork of the era. Though the first floor facades have been changed over the decades to accommodate various tenants and owners, the second floors remain mostly original, an exceedingly rare example of an early small town Manitoba streetscape.

Here’s my plan: I have photographed all the buildings in the Heritage District and plan to develop written descriptions for each, posting them individually on this blog over the summer. With my trusty JVC Everio I have shot video of the district which I will edit and post on my YouTube channel soon along with this series.

Its central location makes Carberry a great destination for daytrippers all over southern Manitoba. Besides its amazing Main Street, Carberry has several other heritage gems. I have blogged about their White house, Lyon house, agricultural display building, octagonal siloSt. Agnes Anglican Church, Carberry United Church Be sure to check out the Carberry Plains Museum and the building it is housed in.

I have spent a lot of time in and around Carberry over the past few years. Spruce Woods Park is just 28 kms south of Carberry, Criddle/Vane Homestead and Camp Hughes are nearby. 

For clarity, this project is of my own volition and I have no connection, financial or otherwise, to Carberry or any business in the area. I do have an appreciation of its architectural uniqueness and its location in the world, both of which motivate this series. My first post will be in a few days. As ever, I welcome all feedback.

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