2. The Distant Past
3. First Nations
4. The Fur Trade
7. Railway Era
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Sourisford & Coulter
In rural Manitoba the arrival of the railway changed everything.
For the first settlers, Sourisford, located at a well-used crossing,
was the obvious place for a village. In time perhaps other businesses
would spring up and a few residential streets would be surveyed.
T.B. Gerry’s blacksmith shop, on the east side of the river,
serviced the area. A Stopping House, the Post Office, and store were
the beginnings of a town.R. M. Graham, already established in Melita,
established a branch store at Sourisford.
It was poised to become the service centre for the region.
If the railway line that connected Brandon with southeastern
Saskatchewan in 1890 had crossed the Souris River here instead of
Melita, a major town would have grown here and Melita would have faded.
But Sourisford remained a rural community it’s Post Office and Store –
offering the necessary basic services, until 1901 when another C.PR
branch stretched westward from Waskada and established Coulter a few
Sourisford became one of dozens of Westman communities that had served
its purpose and was no longer needed as a commercial centre. It did
however remain its identity as a community.
While Sourisford is still on this
map, the new rail lines have dictated which communities will grow,
which will survive, and which will disappear.
On May 25, 1924, the Arthur Pioneer Association met to consider
erecting a memorial archway at Coulter Park in honour of the late
Francis Coulter who had donated land to the Association. The new
archway was dedicated at the 50th Annual Picnic on June 28, 1929.
Soon after Mr. W.R. Cosgrove donated a pioneer log house, built in
1885, to the Association. A work “bee” was held in which local settlers
moved the cabin to the park, some improvements having been made to
assist in its long-term survival as an artifact of pioneer days.