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‘Incredible and unique community’: New historical society in Winnipeg Beach seeks to preserve area’s history

A new historical society has been established in Winnipeg Beach to help preserve the area’s history.

The Winnipeg Beach Historical Society held its first meeting a few weeks ago. Society president Wendy Peter felt it was important to have a historic organization for the area.

“When I couldn’t find a historical society, I decided to build what I needed,” Peter said.

She said she wanted to include the community as much as possible in forming the organization and even spoke with the mayor to make sure the society was set up properly.

The group hasn’t been up and running for long, but Peter said there are already over 400 members online.

“Winnipeg Beach is an amazing and unique community…I think it really struck a chord in the community to say, ‘We need to celebrate what we have and what we’ve had in the past. “”

As she prepared to start the company, Peter said she read every book she could find about Winnipeg Beach and at some point learned it was one of the biggest tourist attractions. of Western Canada.

“In fact, at one point, just around the turn of the century, as CP Rail was opening up the West, it was a destination to go to…we see Winnipeg’s elite and wealthy creating a playground for their weekends. -ends.”

She said that on weekends, Winnipeg Beach drew thousands of people on the train and it was a way for people to get away from the Victorian way of life.

“People in this society wanted a place to get away from the pressure and I think that’s a theme that has continued to this day.”

Once the area gained popularity, Peter said people started building cabins, hotels and other attractions, noting that a lot of thought and care went into what was built.

Peter also noted that there is a strong Jewish connection to the community’s past, compared to other parts of Manitoba.

“Jews weren’t allowed to buy cottages. It probably wasn’t written, but there was hostility and a lack of welcome in other communities, but in Winnipeg Beach they started to gathering and celebrating. There was a synagogue there. There was a big presence on the beach.”

She said it is stories like this that show the importance of remembering history so that today’s society can continue to grow and learn from the past.

Going forward, Peter said the community wants to continue collecting stories from the past. They also have events in the works, like a historic cabin tour, and Peter also wants to host an old-fashioned dance where people can dress up in clothes that match the era.

If people want to get involved, Peter said they can join the historical society’s Facebook page or photos from the past can be shared at [email protected]

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.