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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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farther east to the present location and resident agents were there for a considerable time, a Mr. Anderson was one of those.
In the eighties, Burnside village was a thriving little business centre. As well as the station and school and churches, there was a store, Post Office, freight sheds and two grain elevators. Homes in the village added to its larger appearance of course.
For many years the general store and Post Office was operated by a Mr. Fox who was a witty man and a violin player of note. Indeed it is said that he built a makeshift dance hall to the rear of his store. It's nice to think he brightened the lives of some of the young people by playing jigs and reels for them in his little dance room.
A Mr. and Mrs. Harvey operated the store and Post Office after Mr. Fox left and carried on business there until the building burned down. It was never rebuilt.
Cars, trucks and good roads have stymied the growth of many lovely little villages, and in many cases almost obliterated them. Little local stores cannot compete with larger ones that are only a few minutes driving distance away.
For anyone who has been absent from Burnside for many years, and probably for even as long as before the Trans-Canada Highway was built, they might find themselves looking for the sign "Rat Creek", As we have said previously, the sign is no longer there and the curve in the road which goes over the bridge that spans the creek reads "Willow Bend". (This information may also prove valu able to some historian, a hundred years hence, who may try to find Rat Creek on a modern map.)
The first Road Side Park west of Portage is situ a ted on the south bank of the creek. This spot with its tall shade trees and beautiful scenic setting is a popular stopping place for tourists from across Canada and the U.S.A. It had its beginning in 1959 and the Manitoba Highways Dept. are commended for their efforts.
Historically it is an ideal location for the park. Back in the early days it was an overnight camping ground for the Indians and from the 1890s to 1914 they attended an annual picnic there.
Space and time prevents narrating the interesting and worth while events related to each of the lives of the pioneers in this lovely little community. Our tribute to them can only be to preserve their names for posterity by recording them here, in the order of