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ing day, however, three more cases were discovered in two other homes necessitating the erection of another camp west of Gretna.
One of the houses in which the disease had been contracted was immediately destroyed, but the building occupied by the Chinese could not be destroyed because it was right in the middle of the residential district and could not be burned until the winds fell. While eight cases of small pox were diagnosed in Gretna, only two people died. On August l7 the quarantine was lifted, much to the relief of Gretna's business community."
By the mid 1890's Gretna began to perceive its interests as dif ferent from those of the municipality and applied for incorporation. Particularly irksome to the town was the fact that they were being taxed to pay the debt of township 1 range 1 east. Incorporation was one way to stop this taxation and having reached the required minimum population, Gretna became incorporated as a village in May of 1896. The village immediately petitioned the municipality to have the taxes it had paid toward township 1 range 1 east's debt refunded to it. To avoid a lawsuit the municipality complied. 46
Incorporation in 1896 might also have been a response to the growing competition from the neighbouring village of Altona which had been established in 1895 and was already rivalling Gretna in grain shipments. That Altona presented a threat to Gretna's future develop ment was clearly perceived at the time. One Gretna correspondent, extolling the virtues of the border town, claimed that "Poland was not yet lost" . 47
Altona, however, was not Gretna's only competition. By the time Altona was founded in 1895, two other centers had already cut into Gretna's trading hinterland. The townsite of Plum Coulee had been laid out in 1888 when grain growing in the R.M. of Rhineland began expanding farther north and it became evident that a new trading center was needed where the hinterlands of Gretna and Morden met. Located on the C.P.R. Pembina Branch between Morden and the Rosenfeld junction, Plum Coulee received its name from surveyors who picked plums in the coulee. In 1889 an elevator was erected and businessmen from Gretna and Morden began opening branch stores there. By 1892 the center had an elevator, a number of stores, a butcher shop, a lumberyard, a hotel, and a flour mill. Plum Coulee soon became an important grain center and by 1895 had a population of 180 and a total of seven elevators." The town was settled primarily by German Lutherans and Mennonites along with a few English and Jewish businessmen.
Rosenfeld, nine miles east of Plum Coulee, likewise developed into a trading center when the wetter lands south of the village came