A History of Winnipegosis

One of the great lakes and inland waterways of Manitoba is Lake Winnipegosis – Little Winnipeg, or Little Muddy Water – so name by the Cree Indians. Lake Winnipegosis stretches its tapering, irregular, graceful length due north of Lake Manitoba and west of Lake Winnipeg….

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Fishing Industry

In 1895, Joseph Grenon set up a small commercial fishing operation complete with an ice house. Fish had to go from source to distant markets in as short a time as possible. For the first two years, fish were transported to the rail line at Sifton, over rough trails by horse sleighs in winter. The completion of the rail line to Winnipegosis in 1897 made transport of the commodity much easier, so began a great boom to the fishing industry.

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Lumbering

In 1897, with the railway extending to Winnipegosis the potential harvesting of the bountiful forests for lumber was recognized by Peter McArthur, a lumberman from Westbourne, MB area.

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Explorers and Traders

The explorers who came in the early years to this unmapped region in the heart of the country were guided in their travels by the native people, over trails, along canoe routes, and across lakes. They found that the Indians had their own system of map-making.

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Mike Kostyk

Mike Kostyk left his home in Bukovina, Austria, for Canada in 1901 at the age of 20. After 14 years in Ontario, he settled in Winnipegosis in 1915.

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The Fur Trade

The first written record of the Winnipegosis area is that of Pierre La Verendrye in 1741. His father, Sieur de La Verendrye, then at Fort La Reine (present Portage la Prairie), sent him to establish Fort Dauphin on “L’Eau-Trouble”, (our present Mossey River)

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Hotel Winnipegosis

The Hotel Winnipegosis was one of the first large buildings constructed in the small, growing community situated near the mouth of the Mossey River. It was built in 1897 by Mr. John Sieffert, Senior. He came from North Dakota in 1896, before there was a railway line here. He settled on a farm two miles south of town on the banks of the Mossey River.

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The Coming of the Railway

In 1889, the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company was formed and a charter received to develop the resources of Lake Winnipegosis. This charter was later sold to William MacKenzie and Donald Mann, who on January 29th, 1896, took possession of the Lake Manitoba and Canal Company.

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Salt Mines

One of the most well-known salt-making Métis was the Monkman family. As early as 1818, James Joseph Monkman established himself as a salt-maker and began manufacturing salt at the brine springs at Swan Lake, Duck Bay and finally at the Red Deer Peninsula on Lake Winnipegosis

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Grenon Fox Ranch

Joseph P. Grenon, manager of the Armstrong Trading Co. at Winnipegosis situated on the banks of the river ¼ mile from town.

Mr. Grenon’s farm was the largest of its kind in Canada at that time.

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Snyder’s Garage

Snyder’s Garage was built in 1926 by Oscar Fredrickson for a relative Harry Palmerson who operated it in 1926 and 27 then it was rented by Bill Patterson for 1928, it was then bought by Charles M. and Roy H. Snyder in 1929.

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