Uncommon* Sites and Sights

[historic & current]


Take us to a different section of images entitled 'Spotlights'.
Please send your comments to

They will appear beside the image or at the bottom of this page
under 'Viewers' Comments" .

Images are numbered in reverse order. Therefore, new images will added at the top.

Image #84-H

The following information and image was provided by Wendy Preteau, "I am attaching a photo I took at Kildonan Park, near the river [Red River] and also Scotia Street. It has rulers with both inches and centimetres, but we have no idea what it is or it’s historical significance? I’m very curious, as are my children! "

Image #83-H

This building is located on the road that is the extension of Main St. in Selkirk, MB. It is located approximately across the Red River from St. Peter's Church.

Image #83-H

This sign is located on Bracken Road near Clandeboye, MB.

Image #82-H

This house is located on Highway 16, approx 8 km (5 miles) east of Neepawa, MB. According to the owners, the blocks are constructed from stone deposits on the nearby Arden Ridge that have been cemented together. They claim that the house was built in 2004, and that there are many similar houses in the area. The owners state that the frame of the house consists of Douglas fir.

Image #81-H

These pillars are located on Thompson Drive (in Winnipeg) between Lodge Ave. (originally Williamette Ave.[sp?]) and Bruce Ave. (originally Louise Ave.). Prior to approx. 1960, they were on either side of the driveway of the Armstrong residence [my boyhood home] at 336 Thompson Drive. They were built by my grandparents (former residents of Arden, MB) from stones from the Arden Ridge near that town.

Image #80-H

This puppet is on display at the Transcona Historical Museum. It belonged to Len Vintus.

Image #79-H

A school in East Selkirk, MB

Image #78-H

On Sturgeon Rd. (Winnipeg) approx. 100 m (yds) north of Inkster Blvd. Another similar structure is located nearby.[2011]

Is it true that this is/was a testing station for concrete?


Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #77-H

On Main St. (Winnipeg) approx. 1 km south of the Perimeter Hwy (#101) [2011] -- The Winnipeg Jets logos have been removed.

Image #76-H

Signs like these appear on highway 44 east of Lockport. -- What's the story? [2010]


Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #75-H

Gulls in Gimli Harbour [2008]

Image #74-H

On Higgins Ave. near the old CPR Station in Winnipeg [2008]

Image #73-H

On ?? Road near Spring Hill Ski Hill, north-east of Winnipeg [2008]

Image #72-H

On Vimy Road in Winnipeg, [2008]

Image #71-H

In Winnipeg, connecting to Keewatin Ave. north of Inster Blvd. is a road with this name:

Why was this name chosen for this road?

Image #70-H

In Arborg's Heritage Village is the

where this wooden washing machine is located.

Image #69-H

This house is located in Beausejour [2008].

What is the history of this house?


Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #68-H

This sign was seen on the service road near Headingley [2008].

Image #67-H

The Pine-to-Palm Highway (a.k.a. the Jefferson Highway) between Winnipeg and New Orleans

On this marker in New Orleans [from Website #1], note the words "Winnipeg to New Orleans"

Check these websites for add'l information:
Website #2
Website #3
Website #4

Image #66-H -- This sign is located on the east side of Portage la Prairie.

Is this a newer or older sign? -- Is this its original location?

Image #65-H -- This house is situated in High Bluff.

What is its history?

Image #64-H -- This brick house is on Hwy. 26, & is approx 20 km east of Portage la Prairie.

What is its history?

Image #63-H -- These two signs are located in Portage la Prairie.

Are they associated with the two avenues of the same names in Winnipeg?

Image #62-H -- In Neepawa, the John A. Davidson home

Image #61-H -- Hallowe'en 2007 on ? St. in Winnipeg

Image #60-H -- In this park on Kildonan Drive at Bronx Ave.

is located this plaque.

Image #59-H -- This plaque is located in St. John's Cathedral in Winnipeg. -- These nails are from the former Coventry Cathedral in England that was destroyed by bombs during WWII.

Image #58-H -- Image 57-H(a) is of the two top floors of the building that is/was known as the Fortune Bldg. It is situated on the south-west corner of Main St. & York Ave. in Winnipeg.

Image 57-H(b) shows the sign is located on the north-side of the building.

What is the history of this sign?

Image #57-H -- Maple trees, with their autumn foliage, on Hamilton Ave. in Winnipeg, MB.

Image #56-H -- This pulpit is in the Dairy Museum of Manitoba located at Saint-Claude, MB. -- The guide stated that this pulpit was possibly situated in Saint-Boniface Cathedral and that it survived the fire of 1968. He claimed that the pulpit was constructed in Saint-Claude and was returned after the fire.

Image #55-H -- This sign (shown in 3 parts) is located in the train station at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin, MB. (July 2007)

Image #54-H -- This sign and footbridge are located in Kleefeld, MB. (June 2007)

I assume that this sign refers to the East Reserve of the Mennonite community. What is the history to this sign?

Image #53-H -- This snowman was located on School Rd. in Winnipeg (Feb. 2007)

Image #52-H -- The concrete 'blob', in Image #52(a), is one of several that are located on the east side of Sturgeon Creek approx. midway between Hamilton Ave. and Saskatchewan Ave. -- Claims are made that these blobs of concrete are property markers for residents who at one time lived along Sturgeon Creek.

In regard to the claim that the concrete items in image #52(b) were the remains of a structure owned by Arthur Creak, click here for 'Visitor's Comments'.

Does anyone have additional information about these items? -- When did people live here?


Image #52(a)

Image #52(b)

Image #51-H -- This sign is situated in a park at the south end of Bedson St. in Winnipeg. -- What else is known about this man? -- When did he begin residing in this area? -- Did he have a family? -- How long did he live here? -- Was Whittier St renamed?

Image #50-H -- This is an image of the Main St. Bridge. The tour guide claimed that the structure in the centre represents the gun turrets that existed in Upper Fort Garry in Winnipeg.

Image #49-H -- This structure is located on the River Road between Selkirk & Lockport. Its sits on a flat area that is close to the Red River. There appears to be symbols on the white areas of the building. -- What is known about this structure?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #48-H -- This fossil has the appearance of a 'human skull'. It is located on the second floor & is to the right (west) of the top of the Grand Staircase after one has climbed it. It is in the same area as Image #47H.-- What is the name of this fossil?

Image #47-H -- This fossil has a 'baseball bat' appearance to it. It is located on the second floor & is to the right (west) of the top of the Grand Staircase after one has climbed it. It is in the same area as Image #48H. -- What is the name of this fossil?

Image #46-H -- This building is located on the River Road on the southern part of Lockport, MB.
The owners of the property stated that they were told that this building was constructed in 1901. It was originally a flour mill that was later converted into a feed mill.


Image #45-H -- This is crossing point of the main lines of the CNR [Canadian National Railway] & the CPR [Canadian Pacific Railway]. It is located on the north-west side of Portage la Prairie, MB., & is one of the few places in Canada where the rail lines cross each other.

From Roy McMillan : The crossing of the C P R main line and C N R main line is situated at the north end of 14th Street N W in Portage la Prairie and crosses at an angle, not a right angle.

Image #44-H -- This pattern is located in several sections of the walkway on the 'Esplanade Riel' in Winnipeg, -- Is there any special significance to this pattern?.

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #43-H -- This mime is Winnipeg's Don Virgoe in the costume of Virgo, the Eccentric. This performance occuried at the Forks in Winnipeg in the summer of 2004. -- The sign in the small suitcase reads,

When Don performed in Winnipeg in the summer of 2005, his new name was 'Mr. Viggs'.

Image #42-H -- These signs are located on Silver Ave. west of Ferry Road in St. James, MB.

Image #41-H -- This railway bridge crosses the Assiniboine River at Headingley, MB.

Image #40-H -- This sign is on the railroad track that runs beside Hwy. 221 between Rosser, MB. & the Perimeter Hwy around Winnipeg. This sign is on the eastern side of the Agricore elevator. Another similar sign exists on the western side of the elevator.

Where is/was Makwa?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #39-H -- A military 'folding bike' from the Royal Artillery Museum
in Shilo, MB.

Image #38-H -- This house is located in Carberry, MB. -- The staff of the Carberry newspaper related that this is known locally as the 'Gingerbread House'. It was constructed by James White about the year 1905. White built other structures in the town, such as churches.

Image #37-H [from Winnipeg]-- What do these letters represent?

Image #36-H -- White pelicans on the rapids of the Whitemouth R. near Seven Sisters, MB.

Image #35-H -- This structure is located in Sandy Lake

Red & Sharon Liebing (Sandy Lake) believe that the structure was built about 1900.

Images #34-H (a) & (b)

This structure is located on Hwy. 44 about one km. west of Hwy.11.

[P/J Armstrong] -- The landowner stated that he built this structure in 2004. He had built a similar structure on his land near Lake St. Martin & brought it with him to his new property. He added to it to produce the current structure.
-- Image (b) is the type of wheel that he claimed would have been on the covered wagons on trails such as the Oregon Trail in the U.S.A. in the late 1800's.

Image #33-H

This rock is approx. 5 metres west of the ruins of the 'Manitoba Glass Works' factory in Beausejour,MB. --- What is the name of this black, glossy rock? -- What are the impurities?

Jason (?) -- re: Image #33-H Just a comment on the glass rock -- It is in fact glass.....produced from the silica sands that surround the factory, glass was dumped from the melting pots in the summer months when the furnaces of the factory were relined -- the factory operated from 1906 to 1912

Image #32-H -- on a barn on the 'River Road' south-east of Starbuck, MB.

What is the history of the 'White Rose' petroleum company?

Image #31-H

In the parking stall reserved for the clergyperson at this church in Middlechurch, MB:

is the following statement.

Paul Armstrong -- It is our understanding that this is the 'middle' church that is halfway between St. John's Church in Winnipeg and St. Andrews Church that is located south of Lockport.

Image #30-H -- A house on Kingston Row in Winnipeg, MB.

What is the story behind this interesting roof?

Wally Rooke, P.Eng. -- The house was built in 1929 for Mr Dowse of Dowse Woodworking. It is a simulation of the thatched roof of an Irish cottage. We believe it was sourced out of St. Louis, Missouri. All shingles are cedar, warped and custom cut individually to give the wavy effect. No repairs necessary until 2007.

Image #29-H

A 'Mennonite' house-barn in Neuberthal, MB

What are the advantages/disadvantages of combining the two buildings?

Image #28-H -- This old mansion is located in Souris, near to the swinging bridge -- What is its history?

Image #27-H -- This service station (now demolished), on the north side of Roblin Blvd.,
                  was a short distance east of the Charleswood Bridge.

What is its history? Note the B/A sign on the building. What does this represent?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Below is a picture that hangs inside the building. Is it the same station before renovation? The auto appears to be from the early 1900's.

Image #26-H Shower time for the Golden Boy?

Image #25-H -- Weaving a franco-manitoban 'sash' [une ceinture fléchée]

This sash is being weaved by Carol James at the Discover Manitoba's Adventure-Expo held in Winnipeg in Feb. 2005. Carol told us that these sashes were used primarily as belts to prevent hernias. The sash was wrapped twice around the waist & then pulled very tightly when heavy labor was to be done.

What is the function of the horizontal pieces of wood in the second image?

Could someone provide additional information on the construction & uses of these sashes?

Image #24-H -- 145 Middle Gate in Armstrong's Point in Winnipeg

To us, this appears to one of the oldest houses in the area.

Does anyone have information on the history of this structure?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #23-H -- A sign in Armstrong's Point in Winnipeg

Images #22-H (a) to (c)-- From Winnipeg's

Boulton's mounted infantry was from Roblin-Russell & surrounding (?) areas.

Image #21-H -- A house in Waskada -- What is the history of this house?

Image #20-H -- A sign in Gretna, viewed as one enters from North Dakota

Why does Gretna make this claim?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".


Image #19-H -- Hallowe'en 'characters' in the town of Balmoral!

Image #18-H -- An old house in the town of Balmoral
What is the history of this house?

Image #17-H

The marina in Gimli, MB.

The Coast Guard ship 'Namao' at Gimli, MB.

Image #16-H -- A bench near the falls at Pointe du Bois

Image #15-H -- On Wenzel St.

Image #14-H

The roots of a large tree beside the Assiniboine R. in Winnipeg.

Image #13-H
Pussy willows in bloom in Duff Roblin Prov. Park near Winnipeg, MB.

Image #12-H

This plaque is located east of Oak Hammock Marsh. It is in a picnic site on Peel Road that is west of Oak Hammock Road.

Image #11-H

This plaque is located in St. Boniface & is on a rock behind Fort Gibralter.

Translation, anyone?? To whom is the plaque dedicated?

The plaque reads (as best as we understand) as "To absent (missing) members -- I (or we) will never forget you.". It was placed here by the 'Brigade de la Riviere-Rouge' to commemorate deceased members. -- Anne-Marie Thibert-Guenette, their president, relates this group dress in traditional 'voyageur' attire for special events & when possible, they will canoe on Manitoba rivers.

Image #10-H
Boats on the Red River in front of the St.-Boniface Cathedral, MB

Image #9-H

These 'huts' are to be found in farm fields across Manitoba. Their openings appear to face south-east. What is their function? In what crop(s) are they to be found?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments'.

Image #8-H

In Gimli at the south end of town -- The owner related that this vehicle is a 1928 Chevrolet truck that was driven in winter on Lake Winnipeg to bring in fish.

Note the driver!

Image #7-H Winnipeg-born Dean Gunnarson entertaining children at the Manitoba Children's Museum on Aug. 4, 2004

Image #6-H -- Goldie, the Winnipeg Goldeyes mascot, in his PJ's

For the game, fans were encouraged to dress in their bed-time attire.

On deck is Max Poulin, their Canadian-born shortstop, one of the fans' favorite players.

Image #5-H -- An outdoor cactus plant in flower

This image was taken on Silver Ave. in Winnipeg on July 22, 2004.

What species of cacti is this? Are there other places in Manitoba where cacti exist & flower outdoors?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #4-H -- What is this item?

Click here for 'Viewers' Comments".

Image #3-H -- on Kingston Row in Winnipeg is located the

Image #2-H
In Winnipeg, on Portage Avenue, is this sign:

Image #1-H -- At Dunnottar on Hwy. 9. -- year 200?
Each tree (that appears to be behind the centre of a woodpile) is actually in the centre of the woodpile. -- Who built this?

Viewers' Comments

Re: Image #69-H from Doug Donahue (Beausejour) -- This is the house that was owned by the patriarch and matriarch of the Naaykens (pronounced Nay-Kins) family. The Naaykens family operated Naaykens Transport, which hauled most of the produce and liquor that was sold in Beausejour. They did this until the deregulation of the transportation industry in Manitoba, and after that they mainly hauled milk, gravel, and grain (among other commodities).

After the passing of the senior Naaykens and a couple of their offspring, the house was sold to a local entrepreneur who has put untold "sweat equity" into restoring the home.

Here is a photo of the house as it looked in 1938. The house is located on First Street South in Beausejour.

Re: Image #9-H from David Gislason (Arborg) -- The huts in the photo are used to shelter leafcutting bees (Megacile Rotundata). These are pollinating bees used to work the flowers in alfalfa fields across Western Canada and the USA. These bees are classed as "solitary" bees, as opposed to the societal, and better known honey bee.

We were among the first to use these bees in this area, and, in fact, in Manitoba. We had our first bees in the field in 1971 and they are still pollinating this summer.

Inside these huts will be a number of domiciles where the female bees (the ones that do all the work!) make their homes in tunnels. They take cuttings from the leaves of selected plants, and use these to form a cup-shaped container into which they will deposit a mixture of pollen and nectar gathered from the alfalfa flowers. They then deposit an egg next to this cache of food and seal the container with more leaf-cuttings. As the egg develops into a larvae, then pupates, it uses up all the food supply, then spins its cocoon and goes into a happy state of 'diapause', which lasts through the winter.

The huts open to the South-East (approximately) in order to let the morning sun light up and warm up the hives inside, encouraging the bees to get to work as early as possible. This was more critical with earlier types of shelters than the newer poly domes which are more transparent, and warm up from any direction.

We still use some that are of wooden construction - larger and mounted on wheels for ease of movement. They also allow for moving bees from field to field during the pollination period, should any location run out of bloom while the bees are still active. Various colour schemes have been used, with consideration to - a) warming the shelters b) preventing overheating c) attractiveness to the bees.


-- Images were provided by David Gislason. --

The bee is holding a leaf-cutting.

The bee has a load of pollen.

The bee visiting a cluster of unpollinated florets

Alfalfa florets awaiting visit from bees

A view of the exposed pistil, pollination has taken place

Re: Image #24-H from Paul Armstrong (Winnipeg)-- This house, built in 1896, belonged to the Hon. William Johnston Tupper, the son of Canada's Prime Minister Charles Tupper. William was the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba from 1934-1940.

Re: Image #4-H from Karen Hanuschuk (Hazelridge) -- The item in question, "Camel Back Mule Hydration", is predominately used by cyclists for hands-free hydration. It is essentially a vinyl bladder inside a backpack with a tube running from inside the bottom of the pack and over the shoulder harness of the backpack ending in a "bite-tube" (you bite it and water or whatever is in the pack comes out for you to drink).

They come in various sizes and are very handy in other applications besides cycling -- I use mine while gardening, mowing the lawn, and other yardwork. Would be excellent for hiking as well.

Re: Image #27-H from Karen Hanuschuk (Hazelridge) -- In regards to the old gas station on Roblin in Charleswood: The B/A was the logo for the British American Oil Company as at 1967. On January 1,1969 B/A, Royalite, and Shawinigan Chemicals amalgamated under the name of Gulf Oil Canada Limited. B/A 's logo colours were green and red up until 1967; Gulf Oil instigated the colour change prior to the takeover.

There is a complete history at I used to take my Volkswagon there for service in the early to mid 1990s.

Re: Image #27-H from Carol Hansen (Winnipeg) -- Item 27-H was the service station once owned by Selwyn Smith just off the corner of Smith Street (now Alcrest St.) and Roblin. He owned it for many years. -- I think that the Smith’s were related to one of the pioneer families.

Re: Image #27-H from Roy McMillan (?) -- B/A on the garage was originally British American Oil Company. Quite common years ago.

Re: Image #3-H from Paul Armstrong (Winnipeg) -- Our understanding of Deanna Durbin's association with this house is as follows:
Around 1944, Deanna donated the money to build the house. Raffle tickets were sold with the proceeds going to the 'Milk for British children' fund during WWII.

Do anyone have information to contribute? - Who won the raffle?

Re: Image #20-H from Janine Wiebe (?) -- Gretna is known as Canada’s National Hot Spot mainly because it usually has, on average, the warmest temperature in Canada. Apparently this last November [2005], it broke records again as having the warmest average temperature for the month of November in Canada.

Re: Image #52-H from Kenneth Jones (Halifax, Nova Scotia) -- "If Image #52(b) is from near Arthur Creak Drive, it did not belong to Arthur Creak, as his property was north of Saskatchewan Drive and east of Sturgeon Road, just west of the airport property now. However, he is the pioneer after whom Arthur Creak Drive is named.

He was my grandfather, who was born in 1869 in Enfield, Middlesex, on the outskirts of London. Emigrating to Canada in 1891, he settled in the Selkirk District of Manitoba. Here he met my grandmother, Nellie White and married her in St. James, Assiniboia in 1892. They built a two room house in the Sturgeon Creak area and raised 12 children from that location.

Arthur Creak was a market gardener and street car driver along Portage Avenue west, when it was still horse-drawn. He died in 1956 and was buried in Brookside Cemetery. His property was expropriated by the Winnipeg International Airport in the 1950's, I believe. His wife, Nellie Creak, lived to be nearly 103, and was buried in Brookside Cemetery in 1977. Descendents of the Creaks still live in Winnipeg today.

He built his house in 1892 when he married Nellie White, and lived at that location until his death in 1956. That house burned down in 1958."

From Paul -- The above information was confirmed in a conversation that I had with Ruth Laurie, Kenneth Jones' cousin.

Re: Image #77-H from Ed Dubray (Beausejour) -- These signs were just erected last year (2009) to commemorate the fact that Highway 44 used to be the old Trans Canada Highway up until around 1952-53. When you entered Manitoba from the east, you went northwest through the Whiteshell Park and through the communities of Rennie, Whitemouth, Beausejour, Tyndall, Garson and Lockport. You then proceeded south along Highway # 9 to Winnipeg.

Re: Image #77-H from Doug Donahue --Vice-President -- Broken-Beau Historical Society -- I have enclosed a photo of one of the original highway signs that designated what is now Manitoba PTH #44 as Highway #1...aka The Trans-Canada Highway. I am also enclosing a portion of a vintage map that shows Highway #1 running past Beausejour. The highway sign was found by an acquaintance of mine in a pile of old scrap steel on a property that he had purchased and he wisely had it restored.

It is also interesting to note in the enclosed photo that what is now Highway #12 north was designated as Highway #22.

Re: Image #40-H from Miles MacFarlane (?)

When I finished my education degree I accepted a job in a remote fly-in reserve and spent 8 years kicking around Northern Manitoba. I don't know very much Cree, but I do know that Makwa is the Island Dialect Cree word for "bear", in another dialect it is pronounced Maskwa. Chief Big Bear of the Frog Creek rebellion is Mistahimaskwa but that occurred in Saskatchewan. I have no idea why that particular location on the rail line has that name.

Re: Image #44-H from Jo Seymour (?)

I have a book by Barbara G. Walker who writes about sacred symbols and objects -- where they originated, which other cultures 'borrowed' them to make them their own, including how many of them have been erroneously demonized or borrowed by Christianity and other religions.

It shows that this symbol in image #44 is a type of continuous celtic knot of eternity which is also a variation of an Earth Square. Earth squares denote the four directions. Various plays on the Earth Square are universal. Some cultures have certain animal symbols representing these directions on the square. Christianized Earth Squares are angular with little crosses at the tips of each corner.

Re: Image #49-H from Jo Seymour (?)

I may also shed some light on the symbol in image # 49. It looks representative of an altar symbol. It is not a symbol that goes on an altar, rather one that denotes THE altar itself. The 'slab' that goes over top of the triangle stand is usually slightly curved upward at the outer tips.

Re: Image #5-H from Jo Seymour (?)

I have some info on Image #5. This is indeed a wild cacti that survives Canadian winters outside, but not in Manitoba, not this one. This one is a Prickly Pear cactus and it can be found in Alberta, mainly in the Badlands areas. -- The wild cacti that grow in Spirit Sands desert in Manitoba is the lovely small Pincushion cactus (see image below) that blooms a brilliant flourescent pink.

Re: Image #5-H from Elgin Zelinski (?)

The cactus is a “prickly pear”. I transplanted some into my Transcona yard & they thrived for years (& expanded). I found the cactii in the Old Muddy Valley in Sask. I don’t know if any grow wild in MB but I wouldn’t be surprised. – Ranchers hate them because the needles can actually cause flat tires!


Re: Image #5-H from Jon Kilimnik (location ?)

You can find cactus growing wild in the Spirit Sands area north of Glenboro.

Re: Image #78-H from Wayne Thorsteinson (location ?)

These piles were for a cement plant similar to the one at Fort White. If I remember correctly, it was Inland cement. You could check the title at the Land Titles Office and follow it back to see which company owned it. It was in the 1960's.