Pierson and District Heritage Association
2018 Heritage Tour
Heritage Sites in the Pierson / Waskada Area
1. Pierson | 2. Elva | 3. The Brockinton Site
Crossing, The Boundary Commission Trail, Souripaolis & the
Snyder II Site
4 Coulter Park | 5. The Sourisford
Linear Mounds | 6. Coulter | 7. Waskada
September 8, 2018
with a gathering at the Two Borders Municipal Office where we
exchanged introductions and Bill Warren outlined our agenda. He gave us
a preview of the first section of the tour.
We did a bit of informal car-pooling and
set out to take a quick look at some of the displays that the Heritage
Committee has set up in town. The Butterfield School bell has a
new home, near a restored road
scraper, and James Dandy Park is looking good.
Elva, the home of the oldest standing grain elevator in Canada.
It’s in bad shape and there are no plans for a restoration, so it might
not be there that much longer. We stopped to look at the cairns on what
used to be the “downtown”.
visited the Brockinton Site, where Bill gave an overview of the
importance of the site and were able to descend to the river level
where abundant bison bones and even a few artifacts remain to remind us
of the scope of the story this place tells.
The old stone house and large metal-clad barn remain to remind us of
the more recent use of the site.
At many, or even most, of the important sites, little remains that a
passer-by would notice. Numerous aboriginal burial mounds exist
in the region. We stopped at one near the Brockinton Site. We passed by
the old Peninsula School and stopped to take a quick look at the site
of Souriapolis a town that was planned and promoted but never existed
except a the Land Title Office. We looked at the place where the
Boundary Commission Trail started its descent into the Souris River
valley. The crossing at Sourisford was the hub of settlement in the
area with a Store, Stopping House and Post Office, a nearby blacksmith
shop and a ferry. Had the railway crossed the river here, instead of a
few kilometres s north at Melita, the map of the southwest corner would
be quite different today.
Nothing remain at the nearby Snyder II site to remind us of the
extensive archaeological work done here a few decades back to uncover
evidence of a well established village survived to some extent on
agriculture. This was a unique find.
The Boundary Commsion at Sourisford in 1873.
In contrast to sites that are important, but where little remains,
Coulter Park is a well-established tribute to the past as well as a
campsite and picnic spot for today.
As the day was windy and cool we had our picnic in the modern shelter
close to the the old Gould stone house.
at this site are remnants of the largest concentration of ancient
burial mounds in Canada. Archeologists believe that the casualties of
the harsh winter were ceremoniously buried when the ground thawed – an
event of cooperative behavior and cultural importance. Artifacts found
in the mounds have included stone tablets, clay mortuary vessels, and
shell gorget masks made from Gulf Coast conch shells.
The village of Coulter was established when the Lyleton Branch
was completed from Waskada to Lyleton. The large store build by Alfred
Gould is still standing but nothing remains to remind us of
Rolston Large’s blacksmith shop where he designed and built the Empress
of Ireland, a steamboat he then launched on the nearby Souris River.
Our final stop was Waskada where we stopped at Waskada Park where a
Plaque reminds us of the role of Charles Sankey as a community leader
and a man with an interesting past. The Waskada Museum, housed in five
buildings has an extensive collection – our short tour was just an
introduction to all that it offers.