A long and vibrant history of early multicultural settlement in this area clearly defines who and what the Interlake is today. From the early beginnings of the Aboriginal nations to the Red River Settlement & the fur trade with the Hudson's Bay Company, the 1870's settlement of "New Iceland" to the waves of Ukrainian and Polish farmers that came to the Heart of the Interlake, our friendly Inland Oceans have welcomed all!
Resting peacefully along the slow flowing Icelandic River the Arborg & District Multicultural Heritage Village is comprised of 6 homes of Icelandic, Ukrainian & Polish building styles,including a 1900 log cabin dismantled and moved from Lundi (Riverton) to just outside of Arborg. You can see the Roman Numerals used to mark the logs to ensure they went back in the right place. Added to the village is a school, a church, a Parish hall from Poplarfield, Ukrainian bake oven, Hykaway Grist Mill & artifacts from the former Winnipeg Beach Ukrainian Village as well as 2 tipis along with storage and workshop areas.
Fresh cheese & butter were the products made from the milk once delivered to the Eriksdale Museum the only complete creamery remaining today in Manitoba. Stop by to see how butter was made & you might even get a taste of some freshly churned on their Eriksdale Creamery Days each year on the 3rd weekend of August.
Hecla Historic Village in Hecla Provincial Park was first settled in 1876 by immigrants from Iceland & was part of "New Iceland" - which also included Gimli, Lundi (modern day Riverton) & Arborg. Today, Hecla Historic Village with the Community Hall, a log house, old Hecla Schoolhouse, Tomosson`s Boarding House, Hecla Church, dock, ice house, fishing boats, tool shed, with Hecla General Store & Solmundson Gesta Hus (Guest house). Self-guided walking tours or tours with a guide from , or attend a church service any y Sunday in summer at 11:00 in Hecla Church.
The Hudson Bay Company and the fur trade of the late 1700 & 1800's set the stage for the opening of western Canada. Lake Winnipeg & the Red River played important roles in this piece of history, with the oldest intact fur trade fort in Canada just north of Winnipeg. Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site sits along the Red River, and today celebrates the history of both Aboriginal peoples of the area and the Scottish, German and English soldiers arriving at the fort and staying to settle these lands. With costumed interpreturs ensuring a unique experience as you partake in the daily life experiences of life at the fort.
The ghost tales are not so tall at the Marine Museum of Manitoba. Listen to the stories of the six ships at the only marine museum on the prairies. Celebrating the importance of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River area on opening up the west and as a major shipping route from west to east and north to south, passenger ships like S. S. Keenora and freighters like the Joe Bradbury live on to tell the tales.
Ride the Rails and experience the history of the settling of Canada while travelling in one of our turn of the century coaches, all five are beautifully restored. The coaches will be pulled by either our majestic 1882 Steam Locomotive or one of the mighty 1950's diesel engine’s as we travel through the beautiful prairie landscape. Food and drink as well as an assortment of arts and crafts for sale at the train stop. (Please see the website for details on each day and theme)
Go Back to the days of cart trails and early settlers!
The River Road Heritage Parkway is a heritage trail following the scenic Red River, which was once a Red River cart path and is the oldest "ROAD" offering visitors many interpretive displays, walkways, and historic landmarks along the way. Turn off on Hwy 9 onto Hwy 238 north of Perimeter Hwy 101. Along the Parkway you will see The Hay House [private residence], St. Andrews-on-the-Red Anglican Church, St. Andrews Rectory, Twin Oaks (built in the 1850s as a private girls school) and Captain Kennedy House.
Visit Captain Kennedy House on River Road and allow the peace of the beautifully manicured English garden start your experience while you enjoy the view of the meandering Red River. Captain Kennedy House is CLOSED for renovations - gardens open in season.
Over 100 years old the St. Andrews Lock & Dam serves as the connection across the Red River at Lockport. It is not just a bridge, but a lifeline for residents & visitors. The project is one of three of its type in the world & took 10 years to build, calling for a movable dam that could raise its floodgates at any time, very important due to the ice jams in the spring that cancause damage to a permanent structure. With an under estimated cost of $150,000 put forward in 1910, the budget was broken when the final cost on completion came in at a whopping $3.5 million. Built to regulate water levels to allow for larger size ships to pass, St. Andrews Lock & Dam at Lockport has provided access for freight and passengers to open up trade routes from Winnipeg to Lake Winnipeg.
Against the prairie skyline of the west Interlake a "Prairie Sentinel" stands attesting to the agricultural base of the area. One of the last wooden grain elevators in the Interlake is found at the West Interlake Trading Co. site in Warren. Elevatortours offer an insight into the workings of this prairie giant. The site is available for rentals for special events, weddings, conventions, or Christmas parties. This group arranges tours of the elevator and will develop custom experiences iincluding other West Interlake tourism attractions.
White Rock Monument at Willow Point
Erected on November 28, 2005 on Willow Island (just south of Gimli,)this location marks the spot where the first Icelandic settlers were thought to have landed on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. The white rock provided protection where Jon Johansson, the first Icelandic-Canadian child, was born on October 21, 1875.
New Iceland Heritage Museum is the Icelandic link to the heritage of the "New Iceland" area around Gimli and further north. This is a destination for all Icelandic visitors to hear and see their Canadian Icelandic story told, other come to learn of the strong link between Iceland and Canada after all these years. Learn their story, see their Icelandic artifacts that came so far across the oceans with the immigrants in 1875 and on. A Manitoba Signature museum.
Take a stroll on he restored wooden Winnipeg Beach Boardwalk along the shores of Lake Winnipeg at - and read the interpretive signs along the way. Learn the rich history of this vibrant resort & vacation community. Memories of the grandeur of the early 1900's when the 14,000 square foot Pavilion Dance Hall & the 80 room Empress Hotel complete with its own orchestra, may be gone but not forgotten.
Make some time to stroll among the six buildings of the Woodlands Pioneer Museum located just off of Hwy #6 in the village of Woodlands. Enjoy the artifacts of the pioneers that settled the Woodlands area in the 1800's, the pioneers that broke the land and toiled the soil. A church, two schools, a pioneer home, an equipment shed and the pioneer town gallery display the stories of these days, so drop by for a visit soon.