This page is a text version of the History of Portage la Praire and Surrounding District. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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where the Safeway parking lot is now, and was the scene of many miles of fancy foot-work before it was torn down in 1966. We can imagine the number of people that will look at this picture and say, "Gee! we used to have some good times in that old hall."

Mrs. Gladys Weber says that all the main floor, except for a kitchen, was dancing area. The upper floor was for lodges, and there was also a large dressing room there.

About 1956, a second kitchen was added to the building; this one to accommodate the Rebeccas on the upper floor.

Water mains were laid in 1905, and the following year a pump­ ing station and water reservoir were erected on 4th Avenue, north of the tracks. The system was capable of maintaining a pressure of 145 pounds. The source of water was surface wells, 24 to 36 ft. deep. Mains were of wood, bound with wire, and most lasted for about 20 years before they were replaced.

(The original building is now occupied by Sunshine Hatcheries and the reservoir still stands.)

Padrone Cigar Company began operations here in 1906, employ­ ing 12 to 15 men. The first location was on the south side of Saskatchewan Avenue east. The company later moved to the Roland Dann Block. It ceased operations here in 1915. (Ford Lorch, who was employed at this firm, is one of the few remaining cigar makers in Manitoba.)

Around 1906, a steam laundry was established here, employing 25 to 30 men. Joseph Metcalfe was the manager and Harry Bullard was the chief engineer. The plant was closed in 1912 or 1913.

Joseph Martin opened a small bottling plant in this era, on Main Street. This business was purchased in 1907 by John McLeod, who built the present Portage Soda Water Works on Tupper Street north. A Mr. Taylor and Mr. Wasylek were employed by Mr. McLeod. (Norman McLeod was given control of the business in 1916 or 1917. His sister, Alice [now Mrs. C. J. Pyefinch], assisted him in managing it from 1918 until 1938. John McLeod passed away in 1934 and his son, Norman, in 1960. Mrs. Norman McLeod is the present owner and Robert McDermid is employed by her as manager of the busi­ ness.


In 1907 when Portage Ia Prairie became a city it had six banks, six new and commodious hotels - Portage, Leland, Albion, Mer-