Project Description

Then: Historic Manitoba Glass Works Factory

Construction of the Manitoba Glass Works began in June 1906 in Beausejour by Joseph Keilbach and his partners Gustav Boehm, Edward Keilbach, and Carl Keilbach. It was the first glass container factory in Western Canada. By October 1906, the facility was operational, and then, in January 1907, it was incorporated.

Glass-blowers from Poland and the United States, aided by local labour, used silica sand to produce bottles for breweries and soft drink companies in Winnipeg, serving the prairie market. By 1907, the plant produced 15,000 to 20,000 bottles per week. Later, between 1909 and 1911, new semi-automated equipment was installed to enable the production of jars and medicine and ink bottles. At its peak, the firm employed 350 workers.

Unfortunately, the factory could not compete with larger manufacturers in Eastern Canada who held the exclusive license for fully automatic machines. The Beausejour Works was closed by 1914 but was purchased by a Montreal company that relocated its operations to Redcliff, Alberta, in response to an offer of free natural gas and land.

Photo: Manitoba Glass Factory at Beausejour (1909-1911) Source: Archives of Manitoba, John Reifschneider Collection 5, N17062.

Now: Historic Manitoba Glass Works Factory

Today, the Historic Manitoba Glass Works Factory is a provincially-designated historic site and can be enjoyed by all. While no buildings remain at the site, the concrete foundations can still be seen, and glass pieces can be found.

Explore the ruins of the first glass container factory in Western Canada and see what treasures you can discover while taking in this intriguing site. Nearby is the entrance to Chryplywy Nature Park, which promises a peaceful hike.

Then: Mennonite Landing

Mennonite Landing is the site of the first landing of Mennonite settlers in Western Canada. On August 1, 1874, the steam-powered riverboat called the “International” landed here with the first contingent of 65 families.

Between 1874 and 1880, some 7000 Mennonites came to Manitoba from German-speaking colonies in South Russia (Ukraine). They left Russia when Czar Alexander II ended special privileges, granted to them a century earlier by Catherine the Great. By the 1870s, however, the Czar had removed their military exemption and began to exert control over Mennonite schools and institutions. They soon began looking for a new home.

To attract these industrious farmers to the prairies, the Canadian Government offered inducements by way of exemption from military service, religious freedoms, and the granting of large tracts of land for their exclusive settlement.

The majority arrived at Mennonite Landing, making their way 6 miles east to the Jacob Shantz reception houses near Niverville. They established some 54 villages in the East Reserve, present-day Rural Municipality of Hanover, from this base.

Photo Source: George Penner

Now: Mennonite Landing

Today, people can visit Mennonite Landing to take in its breathtaking beauty, dip your toes into the Rat River or Red River, view the monument that tells the story of its history, and explore the trails.

Visit this historic place on Hwy 200 opposite Fontaine Road about 3.5 km north of Hwy 305 in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot.

Photo Source: Kendra Dueck

Then: Midwinter School Heritage Site

Midwinter School was formally organized in June 1917 and was a one-room school building erected on property donated by Charles Midwinter, a Winnipeg City Councilor. The seven acres parcel of land was situated along the Boggy River in East Braintree. The facility was built on the southeast quarter of 4-8-14 east of the Principal Meridian, later becoming the Rural Municipality of Reynolds.

The School House closed in 1968 when rural schools became consolidated. It was then bought by Glenn, McMunn and East Braintree communities and later, it became a Regional Heritage Site in 1989 and a National Heritage Site in 2010.

The school building was also once used as a community place, a dance hall, a church, a bingo hall, and community 4H meetings and fairs.

Photo Source: R. Goulet – Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs, GR8461, A0233, C131-3, page 51.

Now: Midwinter School Heritage Site

With the help of volunteers, this century-old building has aged beautifully. Now a museum, you can visit this site and immerse yourself in old memorabilia of the days gone by, explore the numerous antique items and artifacts, and changing exhibits.

Regular Museum Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4 pm in July and August. They offer guided group and school tours year-round with 48 hours’ notice.  Lunch and refreshments can also be served with 48 hours’ notice.


Phone: 204-426-5510

Then: Neufeld Garage

The Neufeld Brothers Garage was built in the late 1940s by brothers Ed and Henry Neufeld. With business booming, Ed hired his younger brother Henry for the mechanical work. They dreamed of a larger garage where they could help their friends and neighbours, and in 1946, Ed and Henry became partners. The two worked on the garage in their spare time and hired help as they could afford.

To build Neufeld Garage, Ed, who was known to be a good “scrounger,” found steel beams from a Winnipeg movie theatre and were transported by their longtime supplier North Star Oil (later called Shell Oil). Gravel was hauled from a La Broquerie farm, 2 yards at a time, and cement came from Grafton, N.D. since it was in short supply locally after the war.

In 1948, the shop was finished and was a true multi-purpose facility. Jacob Neufeld, another brother, helped complete the concrete floor work to hold his wedding reception in the new building – the first of many such celebrations in the garage.

Now: Neufeld Garage

Neufeld Garage was a special place where the community gathered to meet, greet, and celebrate, and today that unique charm remains to its very core. Now known as the Randolph Sports Club Community Centre, this historic building preserves Randolph/Chortitz businesses’ history while offering sports and school activities and a unique community gathering place. 

The walls are covered with historical pictures and information to commemorate the history of Randolph and the area. 


Then: Fort Dufferin

From 1872 to 1874, this site served as the headquarters for the British-Canadian contingent of the International Boundary Commission as they mapped out the 49th parallel. Assembling here was the newly-formed Northwest Mounted Police for their march towards the West – to what is now Alberta.

From 1875 to 1879, Fort Dufferin was an immigration station where over 18,000 people landed to start their journey to the West. Fort Dufferin’s role as an immigration station lasted only as long as boats on the Red River were the main transport mode for immigrants to Manitoba. The property subsequently served as a livestock quarantine station before being sold to private owners, and then finally to the Province of Manitoba.

Fort Dufferin became a National Historic Site in 1999 and is maintained by the Post Road Heritage Group with the Municipality of Emerson-Franklin’s assistance.

Photo Source: Collection of Glenbow Archives NA-993-1. It shows Fred Bagley, who was the youngest of the original men enlisted in the NWMP. He was a bugler when he first joined. In this picture, he was 26 years old and is wearing his full dress uniform as he had just been promoted to sergeant.

Now: Fort Dufferin

Today, one of the buildings that once sat at the site still exists. A monument at the entrance to this site, near Emerson in the Municipality of Emerson-Franklin, bears two plaques. One plaque, erected in 1997 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, describes the westward march of the Northwest Mounted Police. The other plaque commemorates two constables in the force, W. C. Brown and A. McIntosh, who died in 1874 at Fort Dufferin and are buried in unmarked graves near the site.

What used to be the Fort Dufferin quarters is now the interpretive centre that holds artifacts and informational displays. There is now a maintained walking trail on-site where you can take in the scenic sights and end up by the banks of the Red River, where you can cast your line and catch a few Catfish.


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