Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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The big excitement for the people of Woodlea (lngelow) was the coming of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad in 1907. A lot of the work was done with mules to make the grade. When it came feeding time one could hear the mules braying.

Everyone used to go over and watch them work on Saturdays. They soon had the rails laid and by 1909 the first train came through. The railway officials named their stations in alphabetical order, right from Portage La Prairie west. First was Arona, then, Bloom, Cays, Deere, Exira, Firdale, Gregg, Harte, Ingelow, Justice and Knox and so on.

By this time a store and cottage had been built by Percy Eades in 1908. A little later his sister came to keep house and help in the store. In 1911 the store burnt down, Percy Eades and his sister went west to Ernfold, Saskatchewan and opened a store there.

Jack Morgan also built a house in Ingelow in 1909, he was a grain buyer. The post office was moved from Mr. Booth''s to their house and his oldest daughter looked after it.

Mr. Morgan got an offer of work in the Municipal Building in Carberry in 1912 so the post office was moved into the store and the Morgan family moved to Carberry. As there was need of a store, they formed a co-operative to construct another store. This store was built in 1913. The co-operative operated the store for five years, and after this time Mr. W.B. Ford took it over. The Ford Store was run by hired help. Some of the clerks were Alex Cumberland and his brother Jock, Mr.

McConigal, Lyle Grant and family and Mr. Long and family, George Hay and family.

In 1925 the store changed hands again and was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Watson. Other store keepers were Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Milward, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Millar, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce, Mr.

and Mrs. Keachie, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter and the last ones were Ross and Thelma Lawrence. They closed the store in 1965. The post office had closed and a rural mailman came and put the mail in boxes outside, everyone had their own key.

Ingelow was a nice little town, it had an open air rink and a little shack to get warm and to change skates. There was a hockey team, also men''s and ladies'' baseball teams. One night after skating in the little shack, the boys started to grab toques. One young fellow''s toque was grabbed andto everyone''s surprise his hair came, too, was he embarrassed! He got up and went home and the rest had a good laugh.There was also a tennis court between the station and the store on the right of way. Tennis would be played on Saturday night until the choir master Mr. Booth came; then everyone would go to the church for choir practice. In 1939 there was a curling rink built under the leadership of Frank Wilman, Harry McBeth, and Dick Muirhead. It was made of logs and straw and Annie Muirhead said it was the best insulated rink around. Ingelow had two elevators the Atlas and the Security. The station was closed and in 1976 Dorothy Vinthers bought it and moved it to the farm at Brookdale to be renovated into a house.

The church was constructed in 1909 and was St. Johns Presbyterian and joined union in 1925. It was the centre of social events and religion in the community. The church was closed in 1965. A second church was constructed by the congregation of Jehovah Witnesses, this church was used until 1972, when it was sold and moved one half mile north of No.1 Highway on the Burma Road for a house.

The Community Hall, formerly Harburn School was moved from the southeast corner of 14ยท12-16 in 1917 to its new location. Many good times were had there. In 1970 they had a 50 year celebration and everyone wore their long old fashioned dresses. In 1977 the hall and contents were sold at auction. It was later demolished and the lumber sold.

The store and church have closed and the church is a garage in the Drysdale yard. The old timers believe the demise of their community began when the last elevator was demolished.

Ingelow was never large, at most it probably had 30 residents including section gangs and section foreman and their families. It was sustained by a farm hinterland for both business and social life.

From 1927 to 1935 Ingelow like the rest of Manitoba, weathered the depression with its dust storms and grasshoppers. Thirty-five will be remembered as the year the farmers burnt their wheat, because of severe rust. However, it was not the depression but modern life styles that resulted in the eventual decline of Ingelow. Rob Smith believed that the arrival of the telephone was when it began. Instead of jumping into a sleigh and going to visit neighbours one telephoned them. A new house now stands at the east edge of Ingelow, built by Bob and Marj Drysdale.


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