Early Years – Lac du Bonnet

The Winnipeg River and its tributaries were used by the Indigenous peoples long before European contact, with encampments located in various locations along its banks. With the fur trade monopoly, the two rival trading companies, North West and Hudson’s Bay, paddled their canoe brigades along the Winnipeg River on their journey to the untamed lands … [Read more…]

Flags of our Nations

In 1967, to celebrate the Canadian Centennial, local members of the 4H Busy Bees and Beavers of the Boy Scouts of Canada chose to do a flag review for their Achievement Night. The children traced their ancestry back to their “roots” when their ancestors emigrated to Canada to seek a better life. The flags the … [Read more…]


by Gord Emberley CM (April 13, 2013) The first recorded use of Lac du Bonnet as a base of operations for an aircraft is July of 1922 when the Canadian Air Force (pre RCAF 1924) was doing survey work in the area. Western Canada Airways followed in 1926 and the RCAF in 1927. In 1924 … [Read more…]

Canadian Vickers Vedette

Monument Takes Flight The monument was made a reality and was mounted on site August 15, 2013. The sculpture is located on the edge of Town at the former Laker’s Ski Club property.     Constructing the Vedette       Remembering the Vedette Airplane replica to be placed at La Verendrye boat launch By … [Read more…]

Jim Uhlman – Pilot

Making Aviation History First Arctic Coast flight made by Lac du Bonnet man Provided By Marc Zienkiewicz (Spring 2009 – Experience Lac du Bonnet) Lac du Bonnet certainly has a colourful history when it comes to aviation, being the site of the first airmail delivery flight in Canada, not to mention many other things. But … [Read more…]

Paul Piel Dow – Inventor

Paul Piel Dow was born and educated in Gibson, New Brunswick. He became a highly skilled telegrapher though he had no formal training in the electrical or radio field. In 1928-29, while working with the late James A Richardson of Winnipeg, he pioneered the use of short-wave radio for intercity communication to provide up-to-date grain … [Read more…]

Ylitalo Log House

The building came to the attention of the Lac du Bonnet Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee in 2006 when one of our members recognized the possible historic importance of its construction. On further investigation by the Restoration Grants Technologist of the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism it was recommended that “due to its unique log … [Read more…]

Riverland School

The Riverland School, located on Riverland road, was built in 1924, to meet the educational needs of the children in the expanding Riverland district. School age children, mostly from Swedish families, had attended a one room school at School Point. This small log structure had met the educational needs since 1910 but, after fourteen years, … [Read more…]

First Registered Homestead

Cairn Erected in Honour of W. D. HALLIDAY Lac du Bonnet’s first registered homestead. Mr. W. D. Halliday in 1900, at the age of 26, canoed down the Whitemouth and Winnipeg rivers and claimed the land upon which this cairn is situated. He filed the first homestead in Lac du Bonnet. This land he passed … [Read more…]

RCAF Station Lac du Bonnet / Lac du Bonnet Airport

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was founded on April 1, 1924, partially to meet the increased demand for civil air services, particularly forest fire patrols, in western Canada. In 1926, #1 Wing of the RCAF in Winnipeg moved its main operations from Victoria Beach to Lac du Bonnet. One building was moved onto the … [Read more…]


Family History: Father: Isadore Lecaille Sr. and wife Charlotte Parreau.( Father of Isadore Lecaille JR.) Born: Likely immigrated with his family from Brittney region of France to Montreal, Canada. Moved to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, USA, where he worked for the Minnesota Fur Co. Occupation: Voyager. Isadore Lecaille Jr. (LeCoy) Born: 17 September, 1851. Place: … [Read more…]

Why we are here?

The Pinawa Generating Station was opened and started transmitting electrical power to the city of Winnipeg in 1906. It was Manitoba’s first year-round Hydro generating plant and marked the beginning of hydro-electric development on the Winnipeg River. Construction of the plant began in April 1903 after the Winnipeg General Power Company obtained a perpetual lease … [Read more…]

St. Mary Polish Church Cemetary – Circa 1912

In the year 2000 the Lac du Bonnet Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee was made aware of a lone grave located one half mile north of PTH 317 on Sikora Road. Investigations revealed the possibility that more graves were in the area. The Lac du Bonnet Municipal council placed a caveat on the property and a … [Read more…]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

R.C.M.P. Annual Report, 1928 (excerpt) “On December 31, 1928, Sgt. R. H. Nicholson, in charge of the Lac du Bonnet detachment, was shot and mortally wounded while raiding an illicit still, thereby adding one more to the list of members of the Force who have fallen in the discharge of duty. In the company of … [Read more…]

JOHN DUNCAN McARTHUR July 25, 1854 – January 10, 1927

Entrepreneur: John Duncan McArthur was born on the family farm in Lancaster, Glengarry County, Canada West,(Ontario after 1867), where he grew up, was educated and married Mary McIntosh. At age 25 he came west and around 1880 was cutting logs in, what is today, the Riding Mountain National Park for his sawmill near Birtle, Manitoba, … [Read more…]

WALTER WARDROP SR. April 12, 1854 – 1942

Entrepreneur: Walter Wardrop Sr. was born on August 27, 1854 in Paris, Ontario, the son of John Wardrop, a Cotton (hand loom) weaver and wife Janet Barr. His mother died when he was three weeks old and he was raised by his grandmother, Mary Wardrop, in Port Elgin, Ontario. On March 3rd, 1877, he married … [Read more…]

ALEX McINTOSH September 04, 1889 – February 18, 1982

Entrepreneur: Alex McIntosh was born on a farm in Lancaster Township, Glengarry County, Ontario, the son of Scottish immigrants who had arrived in Canada in 1832. He was raised on the family farm and at 18 years of age came to western Canada on the “Harvest Excursion” of 1907-08 and, for that winter, worked in … [Read more…]


In the spring of 1898 a small mining boom took place in the area surrounding Lac du Bonnet and the Winnipeg River system that would impact on the region for years to come. In the same year a group of men from Winnipeg and the Lac du Bonnet area had a vision for the future … [Read more…]

INTER-WEST FUEL and PEAT Co. 1907 – 1908

In 1907 a group of “local capitalists” built a peat processing plant 4.83 kilometers (3 miles) south west of Lac du Bonnet on the previously operated Canadian Pacific Railway Branch Line that connected Lac du BOnnet to the main line at Molson, Manitoba. At this location the Inter-West Peat and Fuel Company had been operating … [Read more…]


The railway arrived in Lac du Bonnet in June 1901, bringing with it the entrepreneurial talents of John Duncan McArthur who developed a sawmill located on land that became part of the Lac du Bonnet townsite. The Canadian Pacific Railway connection with Winnipeg made the development of these industries possible and McArthur was able to … [Read more…]

Lac du Bonnet Doctor – Dr. W. J. Wood

Few people became ill in those days; they simply didn’t dare to. With no resident doctor, dentist or nurse anyone who took sick had to wait at least an hour for Dr. W. J. Wood from Lac du Bonnet. When telephoned the doctor would jump in his Model “T” Ford (fitted with steel wheels) and … [Read more…]

Locomotive #2 – Pointe du Bois Tramway

Railroads have played a major part in the history of Lac du Bonnet since the turn of the twentieth century and one of particular interest is the line that was constructed between Lac du Bonnet and the hydro electric site at Pointe du Bois, located on the Winnipeg River. Competition between the many companies offering … [Read more…]