Monday, February 16, 2009

Winnipeg, 1874

An entertaining look at life and development in Winnipeg of 1874, from the Manitoba Nor' Wester, courtesy of, which is currently down. (On Louis Riel Day? Sacrebleu!)

July 20

"Remember the promenade concert to-night in the Pacific Hotel. Tickets only 25 cts. Big time."

July 27
"The side walk is being progressed down Notre Dame Street. Whoop la! we know a youthful genius who won't have to walk through the mud any more."
August 3
"Apropos of drunkenness.--A tipsy Good Templar named Cameron, the other night pushed his way into the Davis Hotel [the vacant lot on Main next to Canwest tower] at an untimely hour. Having created a disturbance in the house, and forced his way into several of the boarders' rooms, ladies' included, he was finally kicked into the street by the indignant proprietors."

August 17
"We object to Aldermen getting their animals out of the pound without paying charges."

"Wolseley House at Point Douglas is now in full blast. The Hotel is one of the best in the city."

"Buffalo are reported to be plentiful on the Saskatchewan. we [sic] hope so for the sake of those who have gone out to trade this fall."

"The Mennonites all seem to be struck with the hardware business. The hardware men like such strikes. Stoves, &c., they are after."

"The Free Press is continually sticking its nose down the Artesian well on Main Street; it is long enough for the purpose, alway stirring up the mud without doing any good. "

"It is reported that Albert Sargeant, better known to old residents as "Butts," was married yesterday at St. Andrews. Full particulars of the disaster are not known."

August 24
"We are pleased to observe a change for the better in the architectural appearance of many of the buildings now going up in the city."

"Fort street is beginning to rival its neighbor, Main street, in fine buildings and business traffic. Already it has two first-class hotels and several handsome private residences."

"Mr. Carpenter, our much respected Stage and Express Agent, has built himself a house at Point Douglas which for neatness, compactness and architectural beauty takes a first prize. Mr. Carpenter, can it be possible?--ahem! nuff ced."

"A runaway took place on Monday evening bringing up at Brown's Bridge
[at present-day Main and William]. The buggy was pretty well smashed up, and the harness torn from the horse, Chief of Police Ingram took charge of the horse. No lives lost, the driver haveing jumped out before the horse started to run."

The Manitoba Free Press was not without their own observations:

July 25
"The Mormon preachers whose arrival we noted Wednesday, are making preparations to convert the Gentiles of Manitoba to the faith of the true prophet. They are the original Mormons and do not believe in polygamy and other Utah innovations. They say that the Lord appeared unto their Chief and told him to send up some people to establish a colony here, and further, that the Lord said the Government here would give them land."

"In walking the streets now-a-days, citizens of some years standing find that they know only about every tenth man they meet."

"The first through ticket from Fort Garry to the old country, was bought Saturday at the Telegraph Ticket Office by John Hacket, father of the baker, for $66,50, via Quebec & Allan Line to Glasgow. Now is the chance for some of the old settlers to visit the old country cheap."

October 12
"The Manitoba college lately removed from Kildonan to this city is now in full operation the fall term having commenced last week."

"Who shall now say Winnipeg is the second wickedest place in the Dominion? A Y.M.C.A. was formed in the city on Monday evening."

"Prairie chickens are coming into the city in immense numbers. Our sportsmen who have leisure are enjoying the glorious weather and the not less glorious sport upon the prairie."

October 26
"The Point Douglas Proprietors" have determined to present to the city the twelve acres set apart for a market [between Euclid and Henry Avenue?] provided the corporation plant the property with trees and transform it into a park."

November 9
"Alderman Cameron is becoming a terror to evil doers. He runs the Police Court with rare good judgment, tempering justice with mercy in such a way as to win the approval of disorderlies themselves, his own conscience and society at large. He is ably assisted by A.M. Brown, Esq."

November 23
"Beef and pork from Minnesota in the quarter and hog will soon be in active competition with our local butchers' stocks. It is to be hoped the consuming poor will benefit from the competition."

November 30
"The crop of drunks Friday was much heavier than usual. John Sullivan was committed for one week on refusal or inability to pay fine of $5. Margaret Corcoran was also drunk and disorderly and got one week."

December 7
Business circles have regained their normal condition, St. Andrew's day being fairly "gone and past" for another twelve months."

January 25, 1875
"We understand Mr. Ashdown intends to erect a large three story brick building on the old site of his present store, which has been removed a short distance to the north. It is evident Mr. Ashdown is determined to keep up with the times."

February 1
It ain't so much fun to race horses through our principal thoroughfares after all, is it? The young sports who tried it Thursday don't think so, anyway. Police Court, you know."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It ain't so much fun to race horses through our principal thoroughfares after all, is it? The young sports who tried it Thursday don't think so, anyway. Police Court, you know."

Any pictures of Portage Avenue to Polo Park at that time? ;-)

1:49 AM  
Blogger mrchristian said...

"Who shall now say Winnipeg is the second wickedest place in the Dominion? A Y.M.C.A. was formed in the city on Monday evening."

heh !

Too bad about Manitobia. I use their site a fair bit and it is often down in the evenings. Not sure if they turn the server off after hours or what ! I'm always scared that, like TimeLinks a couple of years back, it will never come back on again.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And we complain about potholes. Can't even imagine what they went through back then.

8:40 AM  

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