Old Millford





As a teacher and a student of history, I knew a bit about Nellie McClung and her role in the battle for Women’s suffrage. I had read at least one of her works of fiction, and counted myself well informed in general. But what I didn’t know, what my high school and university history courses had neglected to tell me, was that she grew up just a short distance from my home town.  I had no idea that in the numerous times that I had driven down Highway #2 in the Wawnesa area I passed within sight of the school yard were she got her early education, within a few miles of the homestead where she grew up. In fact I knew distant relatives of hers, (there still are quite a few in the area) before I knew anything about her early life.

My point is that I think I would have appreciated that information. I think that knowing about a local concrete link to this prominent Canadian would have made History a bit more real for me. In fact historians were, and still are, somewhat careless about physical details that might establish more of a sense of place to the stories of the past. Manioba's definitive popular historical record, "An Encyclopedia of Manitoba " (an excellent volume ) lists Nellie’s childhood home, incorrectly, as Milton.  Where did that come from?  I can't find Milton on my extensive collection Manitoba maps both modern and historical. And  to compound the insult, the older volume,  "Manitoba 125",  insists that her family homesteaded at Manitou which was where she moved to teach school. [1]  In each case either someone didn’t check even the most basic of sources, or an editor simply made a mental error. Either way it reflects a general lack of concern, a mindset in which such details are of little consequence. After all her life's work, the scene of her triumphs, was far away. My friends in Wawanesa, where Nellie Mooney married Wesley McClung in a Church that still stands overlooking the Souris River valley, are not amused by these geographical oversights. How could anyone not know?  The lady who became known as "Our Nell", was "Their Nell" long before she became famous. Her own memoir, "Clearing in the West" makes it quite clear where her parents homesteaded and is full of detail about the community where she grew up and went to school. Ignoring those roots , or worse still, making them up, is a denial of the whole importance of roots. And as Charlotte Gray's biography of Nellie points out, roots are important. It is important that Nellie moved to a pioneer farming community as a small child. It is importnat that her parents, each in his and her own way, were the sort of people who would make such a decision and be successful in their endeavours. It is important that Nellie met a young teacher named Frank Schultz, who encouraged her to question and to think.

Place and circumstance matter if we are to understand acheivement. (And how can circumstance not relate to place?). They also matter in terms of  stimulating an interest in history.
Thats why I believe that such details about place are of consequence. I think that instead of bemoaning the fact that interest in history seems to be declining, we should be examining the possibility that if we allow for an easier connection between the somewhat abstract facts, figures and dates, and the physical concrete places, buildings and artifacts, we will find that people indeed do like history.

I learned about the local connection to the Nellie McClung story while researching, of all things, canoe routes. In trying to learn more about the country I was passing though, I discovered that there were many forgotten town sites along the rivers and that their names were unfamiliar to me. Millford was one of them.

Location, Location, Location....


Provincial Road 340 used to run south from Shilo, across the Assiniboine at the Treesbank Ferry, across the Souris over a beautiful old bridge just southeast of the village of Treesbank, and turn east towards Stockton.  The road remains, although most traffic now flows across the new bridge just west of the ferry site, and on into Wawanesa. The ferry ceased to operate in the 1980’s, and there is much less traffic on the road between Treesbank and Stockton now.  Should you happen to take that route, however, you will find that just after the road crosses the Souris and turns east, it dips through the small steep valley of Oak Creek.  As you climb back up the other side you should see, on your right, a cairn in a small open field, and a cemetery fronted by a row of mature evergreens.


As you walk through the cemetery, you will be surprised that it is a little larger than you had expected, and that it extends in a somewhat haphazard fashion back into the surrounding woods.  The oldest grave there, however, can no longer be found today.  It is that of a two year-old boy who died on May 3 in 1881.  It was the first death in the boomtown of Millford. [2]


People in pioneer times must have been more at home with death than we are now.  It was a more regular visitor. This grave, and others that surround it, tell that story well.  For Mr. Thomas Hall, who suffered the loss of a son, the fact that such deaths were common must have been no consolation.  He had arrived in the community with the first wave of settlers in the summer of 1880. [3]  Did he question his decision to move to this remote territory, and to locate in a fledgling community far from doctors and hospitals?  We know that in moments of crisis, some did wonder if they hadn’t made a dreadful mistake. 

Earlier that same year Letitia Mooney, from this same community, as her child Lizzie lay near death with pneumonia, cursed the surroundings and rued the day they had left the relative security and comfort of their Ontario home.  She had tried the usual remedies; turpentine, goose oil, mustard foot baths, and with the closest doctor eighty miles away at Portage, it seemed as though all hope was lost.  Then a man arrived at her door having walked several miles on snowshoes, and introduced himself as the newly arrived Methodist Minister.  He had with him some medication that he thought might help.  He stayed three days and the child recovered.  The minister’s name was Thomas Hall. [4]



The Millford Site - 2001


So why did they come? And, why to this spot?

The town was the brainchild of a Major R.Z. Rogers from Grafton, Ontario.  He happened to have a brother-in-law, Mr. E.C. Caddy who was to lead a team of Dominion Surveyors to southwestern Manitoba in 1879.  He asked him to keep an eye out for a site for a sawmill and grist mill.  His dream was to start a new community and to profit from the next wave of expansion to the west. [5]

As Mr. Caddy, along with a Mr. D.L.S. Huston, were supervising work in the area near the confluence of Oak Creek with the Souris River, he was sure he’d found the ideal spot. After Oak Creek flows into the Souris River it, in turn, shortly rolls into the Assiniboine.  Steamboats were already passing the mouth of the Souris on a regular basis, and it was a short haul by smaller craft to the Oak Creek forks. He sent a glowing description of an area bordered by three streams. [6] Rogers wasted no time in assembling men and machinery for the establishment of his new town.  The Winnipeg Daily Times of May 6th, 1880 reported that seven wagons and one cart were seen headed out in the direction of the Portage road, each of them bearing a sign: “For Millford”.  This procession was reported to be bearing the machinery for the sawmill soon to be constructed at the new town site.   A Mr. H. Gravely was reported to be at the head of the procession with Major Rodgers bringing up the rear with his clerk, a Mr. D. Young.  The whole tone of the article was one of optimism and excitement. [7]

The party did in fact arrive in the Souris Valley by the first boat of 1880.  Major Rogers bought land and established his village.  At that time the area was sparsely populated.  William H. Donaldson, who had come with the survey in 1879, was living in the area and one of the survey workers, Will Mooney, had staked a claim a few miles to the south.  

Will had come west from Ontario after hearing, from a variety of sources, that it was a land of opportunity.  Thomas White, after visiting the prairies in 1878, wrote a series of letters in the Toronto Globe extolling the virtues of the new land.  A man named Butler had written a book called “The Great Lone Land”  [8] on a similar theme. Frank Burnett, whose name appears in many of the early news reports from Millford was inspired to come west after reading Butlers work. [9] And more influential perhaps, was the account of a friend, Micheal Lowery, who came back from Manitoba with the oft repeated account of wild strawberries so plentiful they stained the oxens’ feet as they plowed. [10]



Caddy surveyed the town site into 500 lots featuring a steamboat landing and a rail line - an optimistic plan to say the least. Note that the town is in the “Northwest Territories “ as the Manitoba boundary wasn’t extended westward to its current position until 1881.
Taken from “Historical Atlas of Manitoba.




One of three stores that were established in a short period.
(Manitoba Archives)



Pioneers

In the winter of 1879 Will started preparations to welcome the rest of his family to this paradise.  His parents and siblings joined him in the fall of 1880.  His six year-old sister Helen, whom we now know as Nellie McLung, recalls her journey to Millford in her excellent  memoir “Clearing in the West”. They crossed the Assiniboine a short ways above the Souris Mouth and her recollection captures the site perfectly: “The Souris was a pretty little stream with deep pools connected by an amber current that twisted around the sand bars.” 11]

By July of 1880 the Times was able to report that Millford was the “nucleus of a rapidly extending settlement.” and that it was, “ a striking example of rapid, vigorous growth.” The sawmill was up and running, a store housed in what was referred to as a “somewhat stylish frame building” was open and well stocked, ferries were established and roads begun. [12]Thanks to Nellie we do have a very personal look at the community and the times, but the importance of Millford as one of the few pre-railroad settlement in western Manitoba has ensured that we have several other sources to help us reconstruct its short but vibrant existence. When the rails pushed through by way of Brandon in 1881 the real rush of settlers followed, but it took a special breed of pioneer to strike out before that time. Only a few actual communities existed, and most of those were to the north. Rapid City was by far the largest village. Grand Valley was really just a post office.

It seems a location destined to become “someplace”. It was at the confluence of the two major rivers of the region. It was on pathways both ancient and modern.  Native trails and then the path of the Metis buffalo hunters passed right by.

So maybe it was more than just the promotional efforts of Major Rodgers or the enthusiasm of Will Mooney that drew people here. But they did come. And they created quite a little town, which at first drew substantial benefit from its location. It was a jumping off point for settlers both to the immediate area and to the centres springing up to the south and west at Cherry Creek (Boissevain) Sourisford (Melita) and Plum Creek (Souris). It was the near last Mair’s Landing, the last riverboat stop on the Assiniboine before it turned north towards Currie’s Landing and Fort Ellice.  The Mair brothers who came in 1879 and got their start by cutting wood for the big established a dock and warehouse where settlers from farther west came to pick up freight. It is one of the very earliest named places in South Cypress. [13]

The town site itself offered a convenient spot for fording the Souris, and that also drew traffic.  A ferry was soon established over the Assiniboine about a kilometre from Souris Mouth to provide a link with Rapid City and the newly created city of Brandon to the north.

The industry of the inhabitants along with the advantageous location helped in making Millford an important distribution centre.  In reading through local histories and personal reminiscences one often comes across reports of settlers visiting the newly-formed town.  They might have arrived there by steamboat on their way to their homesteads, or met newly arrived relatives; or perhaps traveled there for supplies or just for social calls.  It was a hub of communications for the region.  Travel was slow, often by foot or “shank’s mare” as the expression went, and therefore even ten mile trips could be overnight excursions.  Some historians credit Millford with having three hotels in its heyday.  While some of these might more accurately be called boarding houses and/or stopping houses they were important services.  Percy Criddle, who homesteaded south of the Assiniboine in 1882, recounts a trip to Millford in his journal where  enjoyed " a glass of  beer at the Hotel at Millford - presently came lunch to me - excellent soup - beef steak - potatoes, turnips, pickled beets, pie, tea- twenty-five cents - the cheapest hotel dinner I have yet partaken of in Canada - also I believe the best. " {13A} (p63)  High praise indeed.



Millford - gateway to Southwestern Manitoba.


As population grew other lines of communications were opened.

One of the first settlers, Mr. Alex Reid, in a letter dated May 9th, reported that he was on board a steamer  accompanied  by a considerable group including Major Rogers, the town’s promoter and Mr. Caddy who he notes is a surveyor of considerable experience. He goes on to describe a sheltered valley surrounded by Oak Creek and the Souris River with views of both the Brandon Hills and the Tiger Hills. In another letter describes Oak Creek,  “which never runs dry”. [14]

Alex was one of that small  first wave of settlers who came on the steamboats up the Assiniboine, or along the trail through the Spruce Woods that fur traders had established to reach the Souris Mouth forts and points beyond.  They found ample land available that spring, but in a letter dated that same fall he tells his grandfather in Scotland that there was, “not a section of good land within a radius of fifteen miles of Millford vacant.”   Land was being put under cultivation at a rapid pace. (See More of Alex's Letter) 


There were many surprises in store for them.  The winter temperatures and the summer mosquitoes were two of the more unpleasant ones. Yet seldom in the journals and letters do you discern a note of complaint.  As one reads their accounts of hardship you can imagine the slightly smug look of triumph on their faces at the telling.  They took the worst that nature had to offer and survived.  The loss of a few dozen hens to weasels might be a setback, but the view of the northern lights (which was something new to them) warranted as much comment in Nellie McClung’s account.  

  


Community

 

The town grew steadily at first.  While the sawmill provided the rough lumber for the first buildings, later buildings would be covered with shiplap brought on the steamers or hauled overland from Brandon.  For a while there were two general stores from which one could get provisions ” at but a moderate advance upon eastern prices” [15]

       

Winnpeg Times April 23, 1881
Manitoba Free Press March 14, 1882


A report sent to the Winnipeg Times at the end of the first season by a Mr. W.J. Sherwood on behalf of Major Rogers happily reported that:

“There are in the village a large number of frame buildings, with stores, post office, blacksmith shop, and lumber, lath, and shingle mill.” It goes on to say that, ”Preparations have been made to have the Assiniboine steamers call here next year, the river being navigable from the mouth up to this point” [16]

A blacksmith, Mr. William Turnbull from Scotland, set up a forge in the town that first year. His family was living in as tent as where many of the other first settlers. His was the third house built, and he acquired it only by threatening to leave.  The Major could see that a blacksmith was a necessity in a would-be agricultural metropolis and obliged by making the building of his house a priority. [17]





Manitoba Free Press, May 10, 1884

Major Rogers was a determined entrepreneur and the townspeople in general were not easily discouraged by temporary setbacks.  Like settlers in other riverside communities, they were not prepared for the unpredictability of the rivers.  The heavy spring runoffs caused great difficulties.  Being new to the west they probably weren’t ready for the variation in water levels that occur in the dry prairie climate where most of our rivers are that in name only except for the heavy spring run-off.  They also had no way of knowing that they had arrived in this new land just in time for two of the wettest years it has ever experienced.  Imagine their surprise when what appeared to be a tiny stream (Oak Creek) in the summer of 1881, became a destructive torrent in the spring of 1882 and swallowed the newly built bridge.  It was soon rebuilt.  The first bridge they constructed over the Souris went as well.

A warehouse (some refer to it as an elevator) constructed by Major Rogers near the junction of the Assiniboine and Souris met a similar fate.  His plan to capitalize on the location and establish Millford as a trading centre for the region was underway quickly.  His grist mill was up and running, and farmers were hauling their grain to him.  Percy Criddle thought his prices were a bit high compared to Brandon but appreciated the convenience of dealing locally. [14A]   He needed storage near the waterway but high water carried it away in 1881.  He rebuilt and in 1882 again lost it and it’s considerable contents down the river.




Loads of wheat at the the grist mill in Millford.
Photo from the Manitoba Archives

Alex was one of that small  first wave of settlers who came on the steamboats up the Assiniboine, or along the trail through the Spruce Woods that fur traders had established to reach the Souris Mouth forts and points beyond.  They found ample land available that spring, but in a letter dated that same fall he tells his grandfather in Scotland that there was, “not a section of good land within a radius of fifteen miles of Millford vacant.”  [Prev}  Land was being put under cultivation at a rapid pace.

There were many surprises in store for them.  The winter temperatures and the summer mosquitoes were two of the more unpleasant ones. Yet seldom in the journals and letters do you discern a note of complaint.  As one reads their accounts of hardship you can imagine the slightly smug look of triumph on their faces at the telling.  They took the worst that nature had to offer and survived.  The loss of a few dozen hens to weasels might be a setback, but the view of the northern lights (which was something new to them) warranted as much comment in Nellie McClung’s account. 
   
The town grew steadily at first.  While the sawmill provided the rough lumber for the first buildings, later buildings would be covered with shiplap brought on the steamers or hauled overland from Brandon.  For a while there were two general stores from which one could get provisions ” at but a moderate advance upon eastern prices” [15]

A report sent to the Winnipeg Times at the end of the first season by a Mr. W.J. Sherwood on behalf of Major Rogers happily reported that:

“There are in the village a large number of frame buildings, with stores, post office, blacksmith shop, and lumber, lath, and shingle mill.” It goes on to say that, ”Preparations have been made to have the Assiniboine steamers call here next year, the river being navigable from the mouth up to this point” [16]

A blacksmith, Mr. William Turnbull from Scotland, set up a forge in the town that first year. His family was living in as tent as where many of the other first settlers. His was the third house built, and he acquired it only by threatening to leave.  The Major could see that a blacksmith was a necessity in a would-be agricultural metropolis and obliged by making the building of his house a priority. [17]

The settlers were anxious to surround themselves with the amenities of life.  They may have been tough enough to survive a fourteen day walk from Winnipeg and  “cold so intense it split trees wide open” and they “cracked like pistol shots”[18], but most of them had come from the relative “civilization” of Ontario.  They didn’t come here to live the simple rural life so much as they came to better themselves.  They came to make the most of opportunity.  As soon as they could they organized themselves for the building and maintenance of schools and churches.  They established Drama and Debating Societies and imported pianos and fashionable clothes as soon as time and money would allow. A baseball club was organized. [19] Congregations were established, and with time, churches were erected.  Reverend Hall as we have noted was on the scene from the beginning advancing the cause of his Methodist faith. In 1882 Rev. J.S. MacKay, missionary to the “Millford and Souris City group of stations”, was able to report that “In religious sentiment Presbyterianism largely dominates”  [20]  There were some problems getting clergy, especially when times were tough. And article from 1884 points out that “the churches are suffering sadly from want of a clergyman both here (Rounthwaite) and in the Millford district. The cast iron rule of the Mission Board that unless a specified sum be contributed a clergyman cannot be provided, is not adapted to hard times.” [21] Hard times didn’t last forever and by 1887 the Sun was reporting on an “annual” Easter Monday meeting  of the “English Church” at the school house, at which funds were being raised. [22]

One example of their efforts to establish a sense of community was the Dominion Day picnics.  The first such picnic was organized in 1880 at the very beginning of the town’s short life and features, “baseball, foot races leaping, throwing the hammer, putting the stone, sack races, tog of war, etc.”  [23] One source recalls that on Dominion Day 1881 about 200 people sat down to a community dinner after an afternoon of games and festivities. McLung remembers the 1882 picnic and credits Frank Burnett a former Montreal stockbroker with being the originator of the idea.  She recalls boxes of oranges and whole bunches of bananas being brought from Rapid City.  By any account it was a big success and even bigger things were planned in 1883, with a brass band providing entertainment, and horse races and baseball on the agenda.  The fact that they had to use a ball of yarn as a ball and a barrel stave as a bat didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for this relatively new sport. [24]

The horse race was something less of a success however.  One young man was caught using spurs, an argument ensued which escalated into sporadic brawling.  Apparently alcohol was involved, historians such as Pierre Berton have  suggested that Nellie McLung’s view on the evils of drink may have been influenced as she watched an other wise joyous community gathering marred by the demon rum. [25]

Although the unhappy ending to the day’s events may not have been a factor, there was no Dominion Day picnic the following year.



Brandon Sun July 17, 1884

In 1880 a Land Office, which also acted as a post office was established near Millford, adding to its importance.  Pioneers recount going to Millford to register claims, but there is some confusion as to the exact location.  Most accounts refer to the Land Titles Office as being just west of the Souris near its mouth, north of where Treesbank is now.  [26] There was a school at Souris Mouth (also called Two Rivers) for a short time as well, but it was located on the other side of the Assiniboine and a bit west.  By 1882 the railway had reached Brandon, and the Land Titles Office was soon moved there, but Millford continued to prosper.



The fact that several photos exist of Millford in the early 1880's confirms it status as one the the more  important early settlements.

Photo from "Manitoba Archives"

Most histories credit Millford as being the first place to get mail delivery in the southwestern corner of Manitoba, in effect, with being the first village south of the Assiniboine in the Westman area.  Mail came via steamboat at first, and later over land.  Millford appears on a route for mail delivery in an 1884 map. [27]

Like many Manitoba towns, Millford’s rapid expansion had its birth in speculation and hopes regarding railway lines.  It was part of the “Manitoba Boom” that started with Manitoba’s birth as a province and John A MacDonald’s promise of a national railway, but reached its apex in 1881 and 1882. In the late 1870’s this part of Manitoba was the new frontier of a new country.   The word had spread that the soil and climate would permit the growing of grain, and that presence of a rail line would make that grain readily marketable. Speculation fueled a rush to buy up parcels of land and promote the establishment of towns.  Inflated claims went hand in hand with inflated prices as ads extolled the seemingly endless virtues of this townsite or that farmland, but there were also a few facts to back up some of the claims. In 1882 the Winnipeg Daily Times reported that:

“The largest yield (of wheat crops) is reported at Millford, where 104 bushels were threshed off two acres.”  [28]

So while the Major had called all the right shots as far as location and development was concerned, it was apparent by 1882 that to create a real centre of commerce, a rail connection was essential.  At the time it was the only large centre without a railway connection.  It had survived because of its access to river transport, but in 1883 low water put an end to that advantage.

With that in mind in1882 Rogers went of to Ottawa to secure a branch of the CPR.  He had all the right arguments - it seemed an ideal place for a rail line to cross the Souris River on it’s way to settlements at Plum Creek (Souris) and points west.



Railways....

When that didn’t happen other schemes were hatched and avenues explored.  In fact, in the 1880’s southwestern Manitoba was obsessed with railways, and rightly so. Having undergone the hardships of moving to this new land, breaking sod and planting crops, they realized that it just wouldn’t work without access to markets. You just couldn’t make enough money on grain if you had to expend all that energy and time delivering it 50 kilometres to the nearest elevator.

No stone was left unturned.  At a meeting held in Pilot Mound on November of 84 representatives of southern municipalities agreed that with out a railroad their hopes for the future were “very bleak indeed” and that they should “do their utmost in every legitimate way to secure one” [29]

In 1885 the South Cypress council authorized a $35 payment to the Secretary Treasurer of the an entity called the Rock Lake, Souris Valley and Brandon Railway [30] to “defray expenses of obtaining a charter”

In August of 1886 Rogers was meeting with local CPR official to verify that the Southwestern Railway and the Brandon Sun was announcing that that line would be completed only to a point twelve miles east of Millford in that year.  The railway officials were unable to promise days of further expansion and the local farmers reminded them that 50 or 60 thousand acres of grain needed to be marketed immediately. [31] By the time the branch came to Glenboro in 1886, with no immediate sign of an extension, many townspeople felt they could wait no longer.  The grist mill had closed in 1885. The centre with the rail line would be the advantageous place to do business.  People simply packed up and moved, often taking the buildings with them.  The village of Glenboro was virtually started with buildings moved from Millford. An interesting note in a Brandon Sun from 1887 under the heading “Millford Gleanings” tells the tale:

“It is with sorrow that we learn of the death of Mr. McLean of Glenboro, a former merchant of this place…” [32]  

A few years later this notice appears under the heading “Millford and Two Rivers”:

“Messrs. Jackson and Gibson have sold out their store in Millford. Mr. Jackson has taken up residence in Glenboro…”  [33]

When the railway line from Glenboro was extended in 1890 it bridged the valley on what was then the longest wooden trestle bridge in Canada, taking it high above the near-abandonned little village.



The Millford Rail Bridge in the 1890's
(Manitoba Archives)




The railway line crossed the Souris just a bit to the northeast of Millford and the new village of Treesbank (top right), was established.




It is interesting to note that contemporary news reports offered no banner headlines or even summary reports detailing the demise of Millford. Aside from these telltale snippets Millford’s passing was scarcely noted. A cynical person might suppose that the absence of such stories reflects the relentless boosterism of the frontier press, which had no room for such stories. More importantly, one has to be aware that the abandonment of one site in favour of another wasn’t seen as a negative thing, it was in fact expected. The reports weren’t about the failure of one prospective town site they were about the start of another. Another factor was that towns weren’t necessarily such a big deal in rural areas.  Communities existed without towns, they were centred around rural post offices, schools, general stores or churches, alone or in any combination, but often without the other trademark signs of a village. The Brandon Sun in its early days routinely included reports from such districts, identifiable communities without the village. In this fashion Millford continued to exist even after the buildings were gone.

Although the townsite itself all but disappeared, the community retained it’s identity for some time.  The “Millford Cricket Club”, for example operated until at least 1906, but it played its home games at Treesbank.

Today just up the valley wall from where the Oak Creek meets the Souris (SW 3-8-16) there stands a new cairn inscribed with a tribute by the area's most famous former resident, Nellie McClung. 

This reminder and the small cemetery are all that remain of the town that once served as a commercial centre and stopping place for an entire region. Major Rogers abandoned his dream and moved back to Ontario. The village that had grown to about 100 people virtually disappeared. The rail crossing that Rogers had so eagerly sought was finally built in 1891, right were he said it should be. It was the longest wooden trestle bridge in the country at that time. It is still there although it was damaged by floodwaters and rebuilt of iron.. The site is now merely an interesting stop on a nearly deserted stretch of back road.  



Bibliography

1. Both volumes cited are excellent and valuable books but I believe the mistakes reflect a lack of concern over details when those details are seen has having only "local" interest.  Nellie McLung's childhood is an open book, literally! "Clearing in the West" details her experiences  and provides an excellent look at the local history of the area around  Millford and provides insight into the pioneer experience in general.  The errors cited are found in:  The Encyclopedia of Manitoba,  Great Plains Publications, Winnipeg MB 2007, 409: Manitoba 125, Volume Two, Great Plains Publications, Winnipeg MB, 1994, 122. See  also: Charlotte Gray, Nellie McLung, Toronto, Viking Canada, 2008
2. McClung, Nellie, Clearing in the West, Thomas Allen, Toronto, 1935, 95,96
3. Winnipeg Daily Times, July 27, 1880
4. McClung, 79,80
5. McClung, 89
6. Glenboro and Area Historical Society,  Beneath the Long Grass, 1979,  14
7. Winnipeg Daily Times, May 6, 1880
8. Butler, William Francis (Sir) 1838-1910. The great lone land: A narrative of travel and adventure in the north-west of America . London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle, 1872.
9. McLung 104
10 McLung 30-32
11. McClung, 72
12. Winnipeg Daily Times, July 8, 1880
13. Glenboro and Area Historical Society,  175-6
13A. Criddle, Alma, Criddle-De-Diddle-Ensis, 1973, 71
14. Alex Reid, Letters and Journal, Archives of Manitoba, Microfilm Ref. MG8 B61
14A. Criddle, Alma, Criddle-De-Diddle-Ensis, 1973, 58
15. Winnipeg Daily Times, July 8, 1880
16. Winnipeg Daily Times Dec. 9, 1880
17. Glenboro and Area Historical Society,  16
18. These are a few of the more common descriptions found in local histories
19. The Brandon Sun Weekly, July 27, 1884
20 Winnipeg Daily Sun, Sept. 21, 1882
21. The Brandon Sun Weekly, June 26, 1884
22. The Brandon Sun Weekly, April 28, 1887
23. Winnipeg Daily Times, July 8, 1880
24. Brandon Daily Sun Weekly, July 17, 1884
25. Berton, Pierre, Marching as to War, Canada’s Turbulent Years 1899-1953, Doubleday Canada, 2001, 103
26. A Rome, A.E. Oakland Echoes
27.  Ruggles, Richard I, and Warkentin, John, Historical Atlas of Manitoba,  406 (Post Office Map 1882)
28. Winnipeg Daily Times, Oct. 12 1882
29. The Brandon Sun Weekly, Nov.13, 1884
30. The Brandon Sun Weekly, Feb. 5, 1885
31. The Brandon Sun Weekly, May 8, and 19, 1886
32. The Brandon Sun Weekly, Oct 20, 1887
33. The Brandon Sun Weekly, March 21, 1889