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home and business premises, next door, east of the then Post Office, on First Street South. Emmanuel "Manny" Ramgren was the next operator followed by Alfred and Mary Thoren who took over October I, 1949 until automatic dial service came to Erickson in 1957.

The provincial directory issued that year shows all subscribers with four digit numbers. These were changed to seven digit numbers in 1961. By November 1962 the Erickson exchange served a total of 549 customers.

Telephone service to rural subscribers was improved in 1968 when buried cable was installed to replace old pole lines and increase the number of circuits. This made it possible to reduce the number of subscribers on party lines from nine to an average of 5.9 phones per line.

The number of telephone customers connected to the Erickson exchange increased to 1053 by October 1976. On February 23, 1978 they were introduced to Direct Distance Dialing making it possible to dial their own calls to almost anywhere in North America. This service was then available to more than 96070 of Manitoba's 635,000 phones.

District servicemen serving the area: Fred Smith, Bud Vint, Bob Shepherd, Duffy Ross and Archie Campbell. Archie came in 1974 and is the first serviceman to be stationed at Erickson.

In 1980, the pole line from Erickson to Minnedosa was dismantled, breaking our connections with the Min­ nedosa operators. Microwave Towers are presently used for long distance calls.


by Lome Boucher and Manitoba Hydro

Electrical service was first brought to the Village of Erickson in 1946 and to the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam in 1951 and 1952.

Previous to those dates life was much more difficult as we know it today. There were no such things as car warmers, block heaters, electric stoves, oil burning furnaces, clothes dryers, automatic washers, trough heaters or welders, and many more conveniences that we take for granted today.

As the homesteaders came to the Rural Municipality of Clanwilliam, trips were made to Minnedosa and later to the stores in the area for necessary staples and another important item was Kerosene or Coal oil, Kerosene lamps were used to light their homes, and lanterns were used to light the barns and other outdoor buildings. The Alladin lamp was the most effective and decorative. With the abundance of wood in the area, this was the main source used for heating their homes. As time progressed the gas lamp with mantles was introduced.

A few of the more fortunate people owned a small generator called a Delko plant, some even had wind chargers for batteries which provided lighting but was very limited in its use.

The sad iron heated on the top of the wood stove was replaced by the gas iron. A small stationary gas engine was then the power used for washing machines, pumps, etc.

With the inception of hydro, life began to progress to

Manitoba Hydro - Erickson.

Manitoba Hydro Servicemen.

the point where we know it today. When a farm first received hydro there was most always a big discussion as to what appliances would be first. The lady of the house requested a stove, fridge, or washing machine and the man requested lights in the barn or an electric motor on the water pump.

With the anticipated growth to the north of Erickson and the construction of the farm areas in the Municipality of Clanwilliam, Manitoba Power Com­ mission as it was known in those days saw fit in 1951 to make Erickson a permanent district point. They did this by building a warehouse and office which was located on Railway A venue behind the Post Office and the first district supervisor was D.E. "Tommy" Tompsett who came to Erickson from Minnedosa in the spring of that year.

When the substation was built just north of town it was decided to move the office to that location. The original warehouse and office was removed and a new one built to take its place in the summer of 1975.