Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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Mr. Robert Barrett was born in 1885 at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, England. He married Ada G. Whelbond who was born at Loughborough, Leicestershire, England, at All Saints Church in Loughborough on April 30, 1907.Mr. Barrett came to Canada in 1911 and bought a house in Selkirk.

Mrs. Barrett and daughter Beryl followed him to Selkirk where they remained for 10 years. In 1921 the Barretts came to Brookdale and purchased the red brick house formerly owned by J.F. Jones. The Barretts continued with the boarding house, serving meals, operating the telephone office and Mr.

Barrett started a bakery. Soon he was shipping bread in large wooden boxes to Oberon, Wellwood, Harte, Ingelow, Mentmore and Moore Park. Most of it was transported by rail.

Muriel (Carter) Pickell recalls helping to serve meals to the many travellers and salesmen who ate at the Barrett house. Miss Nora Atkinson worked in the telephone office for many years prior to her marriage to Ben Dennis of Brookdale. She boarded with the Barretts and always stated how good they were to her.

Except for a period of two years when they were in Guelph, Ontario, the Barretts operated the bakery at Brookdale until the 1950''s. Before the coming of hydro, Mr. Barrett mixed his bread by hand - often 100 pounds of flour at a time.

Residents remember buying bread at his bakery, four loaves for a quarter. Christmas in 1929and ''30, instead of a calendar for his customers he gave a bread board. One of these hangs in the Brookdale''s Good Neighbours Centre.

Mr. Barrett used to give recitations, play his violin and sing at many concerts. One of his favorite songs was "Glasgow Belongs to Me." Mr. Barrett was a dedicated Mason and belonged to the Brookdale Union Lodge No. 108.Mrs. Barrett was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Neepawa and a charter member of Brookdale Chapter No. 55.

Their daughter Beryl, was very musical. She graduated from Wesley College in 1928. She was a member of the staff of the University of Manitoba in charge of the Fort Garry book department for seven years, and was active in the Young People''s group in All Saints Church. She was a member of the canoe club. Beryl passed away on September 30,1937, at Colonial Hospital, Rochester, Minnesota, a victim of cancer. She is buried in Carberry Cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Barrett celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on April 30, 1967 with a tea in the Masonic Hall sponsored by the Eastern Star.

Mrs. Barrett passed away on September 30, 1967, and is buried in Carberry Cemetery.

Robert Barrett had not heard from any of his family since he had left England in 1911.After Ada''s death he sailed to England at the age of 83, returned to his old home and found some cousins. They told him that he had a sister (whom he had never seen), in Rhodesia, Africa. After Mr. Barrett arrived back in Canada he sent passage to his sister, Mrs. Forie, who came to Canada to see him. Mr. Barrett was then in the Carberry Hospital and Mrs. Forie stayed with the Howard Kneeshaws for a month, visiting her brother each day. During that time Mr. Barrett had a birthday and he was able to go to the Kneeshaws to celebrate. Mrs. Forie returned to her home before Mr. Barrett passed away on April 10, 1970. He, too, is buried in the Carberry Cemetery.

My memories of an evening with the Barretts recall Mildred Ishenberg at the piano, Mr. Barrett with his violin and everyone singing.

THE BATCHELOR BROTHERS Albert (Bert) and Frank Batchelor were brothers and were born in Kent County, England.

They came to Canada in 1907 and worked as farm hands for local farmers in the Oberon district. Five years after their arrival in Canada, they started farming for themselves in the Freeland district.

Bert and Elizabeth Batchelor In 1916 Albert married Elizabeth Baker who also came from England and worked as a "hired girl" in Oberon district. They lived on SW 18-13-15 in the Langford Municipality, known as "The Freeland Place" now owned by R. Ramsay. Around 1918 they purchased a farm S 27-12-15 (now G.

Thorn) where their only child, Dorothy, was born.

Around 1924 they returned to England with the idea of buying property and taking up farming there.

However, they were not happy in their homeland and so returned to Canada. They rented a farm in the Wellwood district for a year. In 1927 they purchased SW 32-14-15 in Langford Municipality and moved onto it that spring. In 1929 they bought NW 29-14-15 across the highway to the south from the estate of Edmund Bray and started a dairy business which they operated until their retirement in 1941. They themselves bottled the milk and delivered it from door to door in town. Their days were long and there were no modern conveniences in those days.

Frank, Bert and Dorothy Batchelor 1920''s Their daughter, Dorothy, married Gordon Montgomery in 1940 and they had three daughters _ Maureen (Mrs. Cecil Pittman of Neepawa), Gail (Mrs. Lawrence Cathcart of Neepawa) and Lynne of Winnipeg.

After Albert retired in 1941, Dorothy and Gordon farmed the land and carried on with the dairy business, selling their milk in bulk to a milk pasteurizing plant. Gordon passed away in 1956 and Dorothy obtained a job in the Neepawa Town Municipal Office. In 1967 she became the secretarytreasurer of Langford Municipality. In the meantime the farm land was sold to Harold Ishenberg and the two houses were retained for Dorothy and her parents.

In 1964 Dorothy married Don Brown and they lived in her farm home until 1971 when they purchased a house in town and moved into it. Don and Dorothy both retired at the end of 1981. Albert passed away in 1966 and his wife, Elizabeth, in 1976.

Frank had lived with his brother, Albert and his wife until Albert moved to Neepawa. Frank purchased SW 15-13-15 in the Oberon district and remained there until he moved into Neepawa in 1945. Frank was a trustee for Oberon School district over 10 years and was secretary-treasurer of the school from 1935-1943. He married Mrs.

Gertrude Kenney after taking up residence in Neepawa and worked at the airport for a short time.

Frank passed away in 1966.


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