Wednesday, 27 August 2014

McBeth House Centre Inc: Tracing Back to the Selkirk Settlers

Article by Laura McKay and Roshanie Balkaran, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.


McBeth House-32

WHO: Summer Students, Laura McKay & Roshanie Balkaran; HW Executive Director Cindy Tugwell

WHAT: Attended the opening of the new sun room at McBeth House and toured the house and property

WHEN: July 10, 2014

WHERE: 31 McBeth Street  

COST: Regular tours are not available but the house and property are available for private events of various sizes. Call 204-334-0432 for more information

McBeth House Centre President, Edna Krosney, cuts the ribbon to officially open the new sun room.

The McBeth Family 


McBeth House-9

Alexander McBeath, his wife Christie, and their young family were among the Scottish colonists recruited by Lord Selkirk to settle the area around the Red River. The property claimed by the McBeath's (alternate spelling of "McBeth") was down the river from Fort Douglas, the settlement's centre of defence and trade. The property was narrow, starting at the Red River and leading back into hay land on the prairie. This method of settlement was both useful and necessary, making it easier for the settlers to communicate with one another in case of attack. Members of the North West Trading company, as well as the local Metis and First Nations populations frequently attacked the settlement to discourage the colonists from staying.

McBeth House-18
Alexander and Christie McBeath
The property at 31 McBeth Street was settled by Alexander McBeath and deeded to him by the Crown in 1815. The first home on the property was a log cabin, from which Robert McBeth Senior (Alexander's son) would eventually run a store. Robert also continued the family tradition of farming with his wife Mary and built a new home for his growing family in 1851, pictured below. The couple had many children, one of whom was also named Robert. 

The McBeth Family home from the 1850s - Photo Taken from the City of Winnipeg Historical Report
Family home in the 1850s - evidence of this log structure can be found near the current house (Photo from Historical Report)
McBeth House-31
The cairn at the front of the property was created using bricks from the old family home (above)

A Family Legend

During the rebellion of 1869-70 lead by Louis Riel, many of his more vocal opposition was imprisoned at Upper Fort Garry. John Schultz was one of these men who managed to escape and headed out on foot to report the situation to the government in Eastern Canada. There is a story that says that he hurt his ankle in his escape and managed to hobble to the home of the McBeths, where he stayed to rest and gather supplies for his journey. The rebels were said to have traced Schultz to the home, but didn't attack out of respect for the McBeths and he managed to slip away the next day. The story was told by the sons of Robert McBeth Senior as well as others, so there is some basis in fact. John Schultz made it to Ottawa and was later made Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba in 1889.

This link tells the story of John Schultz's escape and mentions a stop at the McBeth House. 

The Construction of McBeth House

Robert McBeth Junior; commissioned the building of McBeth House in 1912 - photo taken from the City of Winnipeg Historical Report
Robert McBeth Jr. (Photo from Historical Report)
It is Robert McBeth Junior, grandson to Alexander and pictured above, that built the home we now know as McBeth House. He inherited the property from his father and also purchased land neighbouring the property. William W. Cross was commissioned to build the house in 1912, constructed of solid red pressed brick. Despite the fact that it was two miles north of Winnipeg at the time of its construction, the house was outfitted with full plumbing and a sewer outlet. Water was pumped by an electric motor from a well into tanks in the basement. From there, water could be pumped into the kitchen and bathrooms using two small hand pumps which are still in use today. A water heating system and telephone were also installed.

McBeth House has deep roots - click for article PDF
Click to read a PDF of this news article
Robert Junior died suddenly in 1915, but the house remained in the family for 60 years as a home for his widow, Helen, and their four children. The eldest son, Robert J., had a career with the railway, working first for the Canadian Northern Company and staying when the company switched over to the CNR. 

House commemorates three Winnipeg Teachers - click for article PDF
Click to read a PDF of this news article
All three daughters - Margaret, Mary Janett (Jenny), and Helen Isabel (Isabel) became teachers in the area and contributed a great deal to the community, both through the education system and the church. Because of their chosen professions, none of the children continued the family tradition of farming and much of the land was gradually sold off. What remained was willed to the city by Isabel, the last surviving daughter, to be used as a senior centre. The adjacent land was developed into a park for children to play in.  


Stately McBeth House now cared for by seniors - click for article PDF
Click to read a PDF of this news article

Sources & Links

The Selkirk Settlers:
Information on the Selkirk Settlers
MHS Article - Thomas Douglas, Lord Selkirk


McBeth Family:
MHS Article - Alexander McBeth
MHS Article - Robert McBeth (Alexander's son)
MHS Article - Roderick G. McBeth (Robert Sr's son)
MHS Article - John McBeth (Robert Sr's son)
MHS Article - Robert McBeth (Robert Sr's son) 


McBeth House: 
City of Winnipeg Historical Report (Long) - McBeth House
Doors Open Winnipeg - McBeth House
Historic Places - McBeth House
Manitoba Historical Society article - McBeth House
McBeth House treasured by seniors - Winnipeg Free Press article


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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Doors Open Winnipeg: The People's Choice Awards

Article by Laura McKay and Roshanie Balkaran, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

Doors Open Winnipeg Logo
The Principle Objectives of Doors Open Events: 
 • To foster public awareness and understanding of
community history and local architecture

• To encourage civic pride and active involvement in 
heritage conservation and development projects and

• To showcase buildings and properties to potential 
developers, tenants, and conservationists

Doors Open Winnipeg 2014 Poster
Click image for a PDF of the 2014 poster
Doors Open Winnipeg is a free annual event that provides a unique architectural, cultural and educational experience. For one weekend of the year, the public is invited, free of charge, to enter built heritage treasures, cultural institutions, and other buildings of interest that would not normally be accessible to the public. Heritage Winnipeg presents Doors Open Winnipeg, which is a collaborative effort between the business and heritage communities, creating dynamic new partnerships and promoting civic pride in the built heritage of the city.

Visitors during the Doors Open event

Doors Open Winnipeg was first hosted in 2004 and we recently held our 11th annual event during the weekend of May 31st to June 1st, 2014. The next event is planned for May 30th & 31st, 2015. For more information, visit the Doors Open Website here

The People's Choice Awards

Ballot for the People's Choice Awards, made available at Winnipeg venues
Ballot for the People's Choice Awards, made available at Winnipeg venues
The awards component of Doors Open Winnipeg continues to be the only one of its kind in Canada and provides an opportunity and incentive for owners and volunteers to step up their enthusiasm and put on the best event they can. Visitors have the chance to vote for their favourite buildings and winners will receive a spectacular award, created by a local artist, at a media event held in June. Votes are collected for the following categories: Best Restoration, Best Architecture, Best Guided Tour/Programming, The 'Hidden Gem', and Best Overall Experience.

For an archive of past winners, click here.

2014 Winners

The 4th annual Doors Open Winnipeg People's Choice Awards were presented at the Winnipeg Free Press Cafe at 237 McDermot on June 24, 2014, beginning at 10:30am. This year, the award was commemorated with a special sculpture for each of the building winners, created by local artist and Heritage Winnipeg President, Jordan van Sewell. 

1. Best Restoration: La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
 
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy - 375 rue Deschambault
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy - 375 rue Deschambault
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy at 375 rue Deschambault is the childhood home of prominent Canadian author, Gabrielle Roy. The house was built in 1905 by her father and features a gabled attic, sweeping veranda, and beautiful white Corinthian columns. Gabrielle Roy was one of Canada’s great novelists both in English and in French, as well as being an immensely important figure in French Canadian culture. One of the books she wrote Rue Deschambault (Street of Riches in English), was based on her childhood in this home.



Lucienne Châteauneuf, Directrice (Director) of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
Award accepted by Lucienne Châteauneuf, Directrice (Director) of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
This Doors Open site is one of many in the St. Boniface area of the city and provides tours in both French and English. The goal of the museum is to not only preserve the life, works, and personality of Gabrielle-Roy, but also to play an active role in the cultural life of Manitoba, particularly in the French-speaking community. 



2. Best Architecture: The Millennium Centre


The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) - 389 Main Street
The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) - 389 Main Street

The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) located at 389 Main Street was built in 1912 by nationally-renowned architects Darling and Pearson.  This magnificent landmark building features monumental granite, a tapestry room whose floor has recently been refinished, and a marble banking hall capped by a gorgeous dome of stained glass.  Since the 2000 immense progress has been made in its restoration thanks to the non-profit organization - 389 Main St. Heritage Corporation, and a generous donation by Bill & Shirley Loewen. This year for Doors Open, the Millennium Centre also featured a beautiful exhibit by the Costume Museum of Canada.

Giles Bugailiskis, Millennium Board Member & retired Senior Heritage Planner
Award accepted by Giles Bugailiskis, Millennium Board Member & retired Senior Heritage Planner

For 15 years our Executive Director, Cindy Tugwell, has sat on the Board of the Millennium Centre to help preserve the building and continue to make it economically sustainability.  The current business plan with Storm Catering facilitates events & gives much needed revenue for maintaining the building.  Future plans include re-developing the upper floors, and Heritage Winnipeg creating a first-ever Heritage & Arts Interpretive Centre.    


3. The Best Guided Tour/Programming: Vaughan Street Jail


Vaughan Street Jail - 444 York Avenue
Vaughan Street Jail - 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits.  There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.  

Candace Gower & Nicole Verin-Treusch from Friends of Vaughan Street Jail
Award accepted by Candace Gower & Nicole Verin-Treusch from Friends of Vaughan Street Jail
This site boasted the most site visits with over 1800 visitors in one day.  With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers once again put on a fantastic tour! Prior to last year, the building had been closed to Doors Open for 6 years – we hope to be able to continue to feature this building in our event. This year the Vaughan Street Jail also featured as part of an interview with CTV’s Karen Rocznik about Doors Open 2014. 


4. The 'Hidden Gem': The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga

The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts, Vladimir and Olga - 115 MacGregor Street
The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga - 115 MacGregor Street
The Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga is located at 115 McGregor Street. This work of art was built in 1950 and has a seating capacity of over 1,000.  The cathedral and its parish were created as a rejection of the Roman Catholic church, which is very different from what the Ukraininan Catholics were used to. However, the focal point of this building is its magnificent stained glass windows and beautiful icon paintings. 

Elaine Kisiow, Msgr. Michael Buyachok, and Margareta Saray
Award accepted by Elaine Kisiow, Msgr. Michael Buyachok, and Margareta Saray
Of the 34 windows, 16 are the work of the world famous artist and sculptor, Leo Mol, who is also known for his Leo Mol Garden at Assiniboine Park. The cathedral is also noted for its beautiful rose stained glass window behind the altar, which depicts the patron saints, Vladimir and Olga. Wonderful guided tours were given that received lots of great feedback. This is the third year in a row that the Cathedral has had the honour of winning in the Hidden Gem category.  


5. Best Overall Experience: Winnipeg Railway Museum

Winnipeg Railway Museum - 123 Main Street
Winnipeg Railway Museum - 123 Main Street
The Winnipeg Railway Museum is located at 123 Main Street, in the former CN station. It is the only museum in Winnipeg dedicated to Manitoba’s railway heritage and includes over
37 000 square feet filled with artefacts. There are two tracks that contain actual trains and equipment and their platforms feature displays such as the History of Women in Railroading, the Countess of Dufferin, and the Hudson Bay Railroad, among others.



Peter Lacey from the Midwestern Rail Association
Award accepted by Peter Lacey from the Midwestern Rail Association
As well, the museum is the current home of Heritage Winnipeg’s special restoration project, Streetcar 356, which is the last remaining wooden streetcar built in 1909, rebuilt and used in Winnipeg until 1955. For more information about Streetcar 356, visit the website.
 
Streetcar 356
Streetcar 356

Links

Doors Open Canada Website
Doors Open Winnipeg Website
Doors Open Winnipeg on Facebook
Heritage Winnipeg Website - Doors Open Updates   
Heritage Winnipeg Website - Streetcar 356 Updates
Streetcar 356 on Facebook

Which Doors Open Winnipeg building/event is your favourite?  
Let us know in the comments!

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Touring Town: West End BIZ Mural Walking Tour

Article by Laura McKay & Roshanie Balkaran (The Minions), on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.
  
WHO: Summer Students Laura McKay and Roshanie Balkaran, Tour Guide Sasha
WHAT: West End BIZ Mural Walking Tour
WHEN: Friday, August 8, 2014
WHERE: Meeting place in front of the Safeway at 600 Sargent Avenue
COST: Adults $5.00 | Kids 12 & under $2.00
CONTACT: Call the West End BIZ office at 204.954.7900


 
Quick Facts:
  • There are over 70 murals in the West End, including 4 new ones being added this summer
  • The tour features 10-15 murals (depending on time constraints), focusing on the newer and particularly significant pieces
  • Murals contribute to a community by attracting visitors to the area, reducing the incidence of graffiti, representing the cultural diversity, educating the public on the subject matter, and contributing to a collective sense of pride in the place we live.
Pillar - Prairie Stained Glass at 585 Sargent AvenuePillar - Prairie Stained Glass at 585 Sargent Avenue
Location: Prairie Stained Glass at 585 Sargent Avenue 
The grasshopper's eyes in this pillar are made of the same material used for space exploration!

"World Cup Soccer: The Real League of Nations" by Charlie Johnston (2009) - X-Cues Billiards and Cafe at 551 Sargent Avenue"World Cup Soccer: The Real League of Nations" by Charlie Johnston (2009) - X-Cues Billiards and Cafe at 551 Sargent Avenue
"League of Nations" by Charlie Johnston (2009) 
Location: Northwest corner of Sargent Avenue & McMicken Street, 551 Sargent Avenue
The mural is a tribute to the building owner's love of soccer, as well as the area's multiculturalism.

Work in Progress
Work in Progress by Charlie Johnston (2014)
Location: Sargent Avenue & Sherbrook Street
This new 3D mural is a work in progress but should be completed in a few weeks!

"A Taste of Italy" by Tom Andrich (2002) - La Grotto Del Fomaggio at 550 Sargent Avenue"A Taste of Italy" by Tom Andrich (2002) - La Grotto Del Fomaggio at 550 Sargent Avenue
"A Taste of Italy" by Tom Andrich (2002)
Location: Southwest corner of Sargent Avenue & McMicken Street, 550 Sargent Avenue
Features the ruins of a Roman villa, gondolas, and representations of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the works of Michelangelo.
"Costa Rica" by Mandy van Leeuwen & Jennifer Johnson (2003) - Paradise Travel Agent at 546 Sargent Avenue
"Costa Rica" by Mandy van Leeuwen and Jennifer Johnson (2003)
Location: Southeast corner Sargent Avenue & McMicken Street, 546 Sargent Avenue
Fittingly on the side of a travel agency, this mural features a Costa Rican volcano that is active every 3-4 minutes!

"Memories of Sargent Avenue" by Bryn Vargas (2013) - Gohe Ethiopian Restaurant at 533 Sargent Avenue
"Memories of Sargent Avenue" by Bryn Vargas (2013)
Location: North side between Young Street & Langside Street, 533 Sargent Avenue
This mural was painted as part of last year's Mural Mentorship program.

"West End International Village" by Roberta Hansen (2009) - 7 x 16 Convenience Store, 495 Sargent Avenue
"West End International Village" by Roberta Hansen (2009)
Location: Northeast corner Sargent & Spence, 495 Sargent Avenue
The flags throughout the mural are all connected by a red maple leaf representing Canada. 

The International Village on Ellice AvenueSaigon Park at 485 Ellice Avenue
 The International Village and Saigon Park
Location: 485 Ellice Avenue
The park was once known as Fighting Irish Park, among other names. Now it serves as part of the International Village, welcoming new immigrants to Winnipeg.

"Cat Island" by Sara Wilde (2014) - Ellice Place at 555 Ellice Avenue
"Memories of Ellice Avenue" by Sara Wilde
Location: Northwest corner of Ellice Avenue & Langside Street, 555 Ellice Avenue
To be unveiled on August 14, 2014 at 10am by the West End BIZ! 
The public is welcome to attend.

"Bill Norrie: Legacy of Leadership" by Michael Saint Hillaire and Mandy van Leeuwen (2013) - Ellice Coin Laundromat at 538 Ellice Avenue
 "Bill Norrie" by Michel Saint Hilaire and Mandy van Leeuwen (2013)
Location: Southwest corner Ellice Avenue & Langside Street, 538 Ellice Avenue
 This piece won the award last year for best mural and is a depiction of Bill Norrie, the second longest running mayor in Winnipeg.

"Remembering the Roller Rink" by Annie Bergen (2011) - West End BIZ Office at 581 Portage Avenue
"Remembering the Roller Rink" by Annie Bergen (2011)
Location: Northeast corner Portage Avenue & Langside Street, 581 Portage Avenue
Painted on the side of the West End BIZ's main office building, this tribute fittingly includes a glass mosaic disco ball!

The University of Winnipeg Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex at 515 Portage AvenueThe University of Winnipeg Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex at 515 Portage Avenue
Continuing the Roller Rink tribute across the street, the University of Winnipeg Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex displays the floor boards from the rink, refurbished and used as part of the wall decor.

The University of Winnipeg Richardson College for the Environemtn and Science Complex at 515 Portage Avenue
Fun Fact: These trees are real. When the Richardson College was built, the trees were worked around instead of removed. Natural night from the skylights allows them to continue their natural lifespan!

"Power Play" by Michel Saint Hillaire and Mandy van Leeuwen (2011) - Cellular Walk-In Clinic at 619 Portage Avenue
"Power Play" by Michel Saint Hilaire & Mandy van Leeuwen (2011)
Location: Northwest corner of Portage Avenue & Furby Street, 619 Portage Avenue
This mural celebrates hockey in the City and throughout the Province as well as Winnipeg's support of the return of the NHL with the Jets.

"Millennium Multicultural" by Mike Valcourt (2000) - Ellice Place at 555 Ellice Avenue
"Millennium Multicultural" by Mike Valcourt (2000)
Location: North side Ellice Avenue and McMicken Street
This is the only drive-through mural in Winnipeg, possibly even in Canada. This photo shows the Poland side of the mural which also includes representations of the Philippines, India, and the Ukraine.

"Iceland" by Dave Carty (1999) - I-Can; Core Labour Opportunities at 563 Ellice Avenue"Iceland" by Dave Carty (1999) - I-Can; Core Labour Opportunities at 563 Ellice Avenue
"Iceland" by Dave Carty (1999)
Location: Northeast corner Ellice Avenue & Furby Street, 563 Ellice Avenue
A tribute to the local Icelandic population, this mural includes Viking explorers, fisherman, and Icelandic ponies. 

"Iceland" by Dave Carty (1999) - I-Can; Core Labour Opportunities at 563 Ellice Avenue
In this close up of the far right of the mural we see a tribute to Charlie Thorson, a famous cartoon designer who was also a member of Winnipeg's Icelandic community. He was known for creating the faces of such iconic characters as Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and Snow White, who was based off a waitress from a local restaurant.
"Adam Beach on Location" by Charlie Johnston (2003) - Sherbrook Food at 590 Ellice Avenue
"Adam Beach on Location" by Charlie Johnston (2003)
Location: Southwest corner Ellice Avenue & Sherbrook Street
Adam Beach is a famous TV and movie star who grew up in Winnipeg. The bear in the mural represents his Aboriginal identity - he is a member of the Bear Clan and has the Aboriginal name Leading Bear Man. 
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony by Tom Andrich (2003) - Shawarma Time Restaurant and Deli at 616 Ellice Avenue
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony by Tom Andrich (2003)
Location: Southeast corner Ellice Avenue & Maryland Street, 616 Ellice Avenue
Fun fact: In the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, they add not only sugar, but salt as well 
(so trying this the next time we go to Tim's!).
"Harry Lehotsky" by Michel Saint Hilaire & Mandy can Leeuwen (2006) - Lazarus Housing at 518 Maryland Street
"Harry Lehotsky" by Michel Saint Hilaire & Mandy van Leeuwen (2006)
Location: West side between Sargent Avenue & Ellice Avenue, 
Here you can see Reverend Harry Lehotsky who was dedicated to improving the lives of the disadvantaged people in the community. 
Margret Benedictsson's House - 530 Maryland Street Margret Benedictsson's house at 530 Maryland Street
Margret Benedictsson's house at 530 Maryland Street
Margret Benedictsson (1866-1956) was an Icelandic journalist and human rights activist. She lectured on women's rights and founded the Icelandic Women's Suffrage Society in Winnipeg.

"Zoohky" by Jill Sellers (2004) -  Zoohky Memorial Hall (Winnserv Bingo Hall) at 635 Sargent Avenue
"Zoohky" by Jill Sellers (2004)
Location: Northwest corner Sargent Avenue & McGee Street
This was the last mural we stopped by on the tour. The man here was a well known member of the community who used to fix old bikes, radios, toys etc., and then give them to the people who needed them. He made a poem "The Blue Danube" which we stood and read in front of the mural in his honour.


The murals in the West End are a fabulous tribute to the history and culture of the area. The West End BIZ mural tour was a great opportunity to learn more about the City of Winnipeg through these beautiful pieces of art. Our tour guide, Sasha, was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the area - she encourages her visitors to ask questions and takes the time to answer them thoroughly. This was definitely one of the more unique tours we've done!
    Links:
    CBC News Article - West End BIZ mural tours reflect neighbourhood's history
    The Murals of Winnipeg Website
    Mural Walking Tour Description from Doors Open Winnipeg
    West End BIZ Website
    West End BIZ on Twitter
    West End BIZ on Facebook

    Which Winnipeg mural is your favourite? 
    Tell us in the comments!

    To receive email updates from the blog, 
    Spread the word - Don't forget to like and share using the icons below!