Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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I remember the night the office of the Grain Growers Elevator caught fire and burned. It was winter because dad ordered us to dress warmly.

The wind was blowing towards the Main Street and dad was afraid all the stores and pool room would catch fire, too. I can also remember a Mr. Ball, a small gent who ran the pool room, puffing away while pumping water in the basement of our store.

Everyone who could, carried water to try to contain the fire to only the office. Luckily the wind changed direction and only the office was burned. It was Christmas Day 1923 when the school burned down.

I remember we had just finished dinner and were relaxing when the call came. There wasn''t much anyone could do but watch, and listen to the popping and explosions when the chemistry room was burning. It was sad but school carried on in the church and Odd Fellows Hall, and soon a new school was built.

I often think how fortunate we were to have grown up in the community of Brookdale. We had an excellent school, church, and later a curling rink which provided many happy hours of fun - the dances on Friday night held in the school hall and the next Friday many went to Oberon to attend their dance. My grandchildren love to hear about the sleigh rides, the bells on the horse''s harness ringing - picking crocus in the spring along the roadside - when the Chautaugua came to town.

The fowl suppers put on by the ladies and the entertainment which followed were always a highlight. It made for a good life.


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