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PREFACE

It was with pride in the growth and accomplishments of Portage la Prairie that interested people of this city took on the worthwhile project of recording, and thereby preserving, its history for posterity.

Enlightening narratives have been previously written: "History of Manitoba" by Robert B. Hill (approx. 1890), "First Furrows" by A. C. Garrioch (published in 1923), "Tread of the Pioneers" by J. H. Metcalfe (published in 1932), and "Roots of Oakville') by A. J. Moore, which took in the period 1875 to the early 1900s.

I t is our aim to bring the history of Portage Ia Prairie up to date as a Manitoba Centennial project.

Portage la Prairie, like a gian t tree whose branches can be likened to the various parts of the municipality, has grown and thrived through the years. Floods, fires and disaster have only tended to strengthen its roots.

As the leaves fall from the branches, and gravestones thicken along the way, it is not without the sad, silent knowledge of us all. However, a vital spark of spirit has been part of our inheritance, and faith in a future our greatest legacy.

As we celebrate Manitoba's Centennial in 1970, we also celebrate Portage la Prairie's 89th anniversary as an incorporated town, and its 63rd anniversary as a city. This may not sound too impressive unless we consider the fact that its history actually goes back 300 years, long before the formation of the 'postage stamp province' in 1870.

(The reason for the nickname of the province at that time was due to its size and shape. A straight line drawn from approximately three miles north of the Whiteshell Forest Reserve to a spot between Plumas and Glenella was the northern boundary. Straight lines from the extremities of each northern point ran south to the U.S.A. border. Thirty-seven miles west of Portage la Prairie was the line that divided Manitoba from the North West Territories.)

We have tried, in as much as is humanly possible, to authen­ ticate the material in this book. No one is infallible and we hope that any errors will be ones of minor importance.

Every pioneer, whether on a farm, in a business, or in a dedicated profession, played an important part in the progress of our country. It is with sincere regret that space and time does not permit us to record the hundreds of names of such people along with all their worthwhile activities.

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