Tag Archives: rural

White House, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

I have previously featured this house on the Houses page. This post will update, elaborate on details and replace the original entry.

White House, 510 Fourth Avenue, Carberry, MB

Carberry, MB has retained an enormous amount of its built heritage relative to most Manitoba towns. Two blocks of historic buildings with architecture dating back more than a century on Carberry’s Main Street have been designated as Manitoba’s first Provincial Heritage District. Walking down the town’s main drag is a rare and exhilarating experience for a heritage buff. I spent a couple of days in Carberry last summer photographing most of their remarkable buildings, including these new pictures of the White House.

The White House has stood on a corner lot on the outskirts of Carberry since about 1900 when James White built it to reflect his Ontario heritage where Queen Anne style developed its own permutations. White moved from Ontario in the 1880s, settling in Carberry where he was a contractor, sash and door manufacturer and business owner. In addition to his own home, he built his factory, the Charlie Sear Block at 19 Main Street in downtown Carberry and the town’s Presbyterian, Methodist (United), and Anglican churches. An inventive fellow, White devised a system that diverted waste steam from his factory to heat his nearby home.

Take a moment to drink in the overall Seussian effect of this Queen Anne Revival beauty. Fanciful yet formidable, subtlety and exuberance unite in striking accord on the Manitoba prairie. Notice its expansive harmony and superb craftsmanship. The picturesque roofline features double gables with a shallow pitch between them. Under the gables, bull’s-eye windows are perfectly centred between substantial brackets, each of which features a delicate drop. The peaks of the gables contrast with the smooth arc of the bargeboard below. The design on the elaborate bargeboard, the triangle and dot, is replicated on the upper verandah.

The colours are intoxicating. The distinctive red brick came from the brickworks in Edrans, MB where James White’s wife, Margaret, apparently had connections. The brick has developed a lovely patina over the century that accentuates the contrast with the rich white brick detailing. All windows are topped with elaborate headers in white brick, each with a drop, like on the brackets. Two belt courses in white brick gird the house and the bull’s-eyes are accentuated by the solid white brick enclosures. Every corner is loaded with white brick quoins. Notice the subtle use of the colour black on the building in the small details on the verandahs, window sills and lintels and under the gables.

The verandahs are exceptional despite being under repair. The arcade of arches on the upper level mimics the shape of the bargeboard and the arches over the windows. Both verandahs sport turned posts all around. The small porch over the rear door is delicate and adorable with its widely-spaced dentil and little picket balustrade.

Notice how the quoins next to the top and bottom of each window join up with the white brick header giving the appearance the window is supported from above. The design is almost hieroglyphic.

In addition to the variety of shapes in the brick design, each window features diamond and triangular shapes and a frame of square coloured panes. The exterior condition of the White House is remarkable. It is now part of the Carberry Plains Museum located next door to the house in the brick building James White built for his sash and door factory.

Quick Carberry fact: For a number of years starting in 1940 the British Royal Air Force operated Service Flying Train School #33 near Carberry. Among the thousands of airmen who trained there was actor Richard Burton.

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

12 Days of Christmas Day Four

St. Francois Xavier Roman Catholic Church, St. Francois Xavier, MB

Built in 1900, this small but imposing tan brick church set on a fieldstone foundation was designed by Joseph Senecal, leading architect of Roman Catholic churches in Manitoba. St Francois Xavier was originally called Grantown, a settlement created by Metis leader Cuthbert Grant. This building replaced a substantial log church, which had served the parishioners since 1833 on the same site. Cuthbert Grant is buried in the cemetery that surrounds the church. Though somewhat obscured by a gorgeous evergreen, the front elevation is a work of symmetrical accomplishment. The corner towers with their roofs and pinnacles balance the central entrance, the side entrances and the well-proportioned square tower with its delightful cornice and dentil. Arcades surround the belfry, which is topped with a steep four-sided roof with small round openings.

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12 Days of Christmas Day Three

Douglas United Church, Douglas, MB

This modest and well-maintained wooden Gothic church was built in 1893 for a Methodist congregation. Sometime over its 118-year history, the church lost its belfry and steeple though the roof pitches and lancet windows still point heavenward. Notice the dainty corner pillars with plain pinnacles. The rear section was added on in 1957.

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12 Days of Christmas Day One

In 2005 Linda and I began sending out Christmas greetings in the form of an email a day for the 12 Days of Christmas with a new theme each year. We sent churches, schools and houses. Instead of emails, this year I am continuing the tradition with a daily post of a beautiful church in rural Manitoba on this blog. Share them with your family and friends. Enjoy! 

St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church, Shoal Lake, MB

 The sun rises on one of five churches in Shoal Lake. Built in 1940, this small wooden Gothic church preserves the holiness of St. Helen, here bathed in early morning Manitoba sunshine. It was built as a part of the mission of the Parish of Elphinstone. The nave is a typical rectangle with a low-pitched front porch added later. The tower supports a belfry and an octagonal steeple topped with a heavy cross. The louvered arched openings on the tower have a sunburst pattern complimented by the rose window beneath. The lancet windows along the side are edged with coloured panes.

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Last Monday – Prairie Kindness

Reid Dickie

Last Monday, when I was driving back from Brandon in the heavy rainstorm, I had a touching and reassuring experience along the road that needs telling before I forget it. I used #2 Highway to come back to Winnipeg and thought I had enough gas when I left the Wheat City. I stopped in Glenboro to let a deluge pass and meant to get some gas there, however, forgot.

Seems the bottom half of the Avenger’s tank empties quicker than the top! My gas gauge sat at empty about 40 km outside Winnipeg and though the diagnostic menu said I had 88 km to empty, I didn’t believe it because the little gas pump symbol was lit, too. I pulled into Starbuck, MB about 6:40 expecting little in the way of an open gas station. They have a Co-Op cardlock but I’m not a member.

The rain had let up and as I stood there pondering my next move, a little yellow sports car pulled into the lot. ‘Not from around here. Needs gas too,’ I thought, correctly. His car spelled out in big letters LOW FUEL. My plan was to pop over to the local hotel and see if any of the boys bending a few might have a Co-Op card and the friendlies to help out a stranger in need. The yellow sports car guy and his girlfriend, also Winnipeg-bound, were sceptical about my plan but I said, ‘Wait here, I’ll be right back.’ I drove the block and a half to the Starbuck Hotel, a fine establishment where I explained my plight to Lorelei who gladly asked the pub boys about cardlock. None of them had one.

”No problem,” she said. ”My dad has one and he lives in town.” Lorelei called her dad, explained the situation and told me to meet him at the Co-Op. His name is Len. I thanked her profusely and drove back to the pumps. As I expected, the yellow sports car was gone.

Two minutes later, Len pulls up in his half ton, all friendly and smiling. We chat about how much we don’t need the rain as he pumps $15 worth of regular into the Avenger. I give him a twenty and he reaches for change but I tell him to buy his buddies coffee in the morning on me. I thank him for coming to my rescue. He drove away in his half ton, feeling good because he helped a stranger in need. I drove away in my Avenger, feeling quickened by the benevolence of the human spirit and grateful I grew up in a small town. Thank you, Lorelei. Thank you, Len. Thank you, Starbuck.

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