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Photo courtesy of Sam Waller Museum

The Pas MB

The Sam Waller Museum is located in a historic building, the former courthouse for The Pas The Pas went on to play a huge role in the fur trade. During the years of New France, LaVerendrye directed that a fort/trading post (Paskoya or Pasquia) be built on the lower Saskatchewan River above Cedar Lake. The Trapper, a prominent sign on Highway 10 south, greets visitors to The Pas, and is a vivid reminder of the community’s annual Northern Manitoba Trapper’s Festival. The festival features world champion dog sled races, a king trapper contest, and other events such as tree falling, canoe packing, flour packing, bannock baking, and moose calling, which replicate the skills and activities practised by regional First Nations people and pioneers in the area. The Trapper sign was originally a project of the local Chamber of Commerce. The Sam Waller Museum is a second major eye catcher for The Pas. A lifelong collector, Sam Waller amassed an astounding and eclectic array of unusual items over his lifetime. But more than a mere collector, Sam was also a dedicated and knowledgeable naturalist, a taxidermist, and a serious museum curator and teacher. In 1958, upon retiring from teaching, Sam opened his Little Northern Museum where he hoped to “portray life as it once was in the distant past” and “give the young the opportunity to see visions, and the old to dream again their dreams." The museum is located on Fischer Avenue, in a historic 1916 building, the town’s former courthouse. Located on Fischer Avenue, the Sam Waller Museum boasts over 70,000 items from natural to human history, and ancient archives from the rich history of The Pas. Temporary exhibits are also often on display.

After the railroad boom, the town transformed industrially into fishing, prospecting, and logging. The Mid Canada Line (radar) construction provided a boost with Cranberry becoming a sector control station, and when that advent closed, the military facilities were converted into a campus, Frontier Collegiate Institute, which now serves students from remote areas of the north. Originally named because the watershed portage route was so lush with wild cranberries, the community looks forward to the opportunities provided by a major expansion and modernization of the Frontier Collegiate facilities. The current population is 572. The canoe cairn and plaque near Lake Athapapuskow in the park area of Cranberry Portage commemorates the area’s early history. The cairn was constructed by local volunteers in conjunction with Project Discovery for the Cranberry Portage homecoming and 75th anniversary in 2003. This monument connects the community with the past – the fur trade, and the fact that the route has been used for over 2000 years by Metis people to reach Hudson Bay. An upcoming attraction is in store, as the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum located in the old railway station (erected 1929 after the infamous fire) is scheduled to open in the near future.

Cranberry Portage MB

Cranberry Portage is historically significant as a route used by trappers and traders travelling from the Grass River watershed to the Saskatchewan River watershed. The Cranberry Portage town site sprang up thanks to prospectors who came by rail around 1928 due to huge mineral finds at Flin Flon and Sherridon. The town became a distribution centre for the railroad and grew quickly to a population of 2,000. In 1929, Cranberry burned to the ground and was relocated at a site further from the lake.

Photo by Morley G. Naylor

Cranberry Portage, MB

This monument documents Cranberry’s heritage as a key portage on a 2000 year-old canoe route • • @cottagenorth


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Cottage North July-August 2014  

Cottage North July-August 2014